Surviving the Home Study
The home study is a nerve wracking experience. What should you expect and how should you prepare for it? Host Dawn Davenport, Executive Director of Creating a Family, the national infertility & adoption education and support nonprofit, interviews Rebekah Hill, social worker and Clinical Therapist in Adoption Services at SAFY; and Jeanette Quick, Home Study Service Coordinator at Hopscotch Adoptions.
Hit the Highlights
- What is the adoption home study?
- What is a foster parent home study?
- What is the purpose of an adoption or foster care home study?
- to gather information about prospective families (through request for documents, interviews)
- to evaluate the prospective family’s home for safety, security, and overall health (through home visits)
- to better educate and prepare families for adoption or fostering (through required training and interviews)
- Is it possible to get one home study that can be used with all types of adoptions: domestic infant, foster care, and international adoption?
- When in the adoption or fostering process is the home study usually done?
- What type of information from the prospective adoptive or foster parents is usually gathered during the home study process?
- Criminal background checks
- Medical history
- Statements of income and assets
- Autobiographical statements
- How long does it take to complete an adoption home study?
- How long does it take to complete a home study to become a foster parent?
- What type of criminal history for adoptive or foster parents will preclude adoption?
- Will DUIs from the past be a problem for adopting or fostering?
- It is important to be honest and share it all with your social worker.
- Will expunged criminal records be discovered by a criminal background check?
- What type of medical history for adoptive parents will be a problem for adopting?
- Do you have to have a current physical?
- What to do about getting a medical physical if you don’t have a regular primary doctor. Can go to Urgent Care clinics or Minute Clinics for an adoption physical?
- Is a mental health diagnosis a problem if you want to adopt or foster?
- What are adoption agencies looking for in terms of income and assets in adoptive families?
- What type of documents do you have to provide on your finances to the adoption agency?
- Do you need to make a certain amount of money or have a certain amount in savings in order to adopt?
- If you want to be a foster parent, can you count the stipend you get for fostering a child as your income?
- What should be included in the autobiographical statement?
- How many in-person interviews are usually required in the home study process?
- What type of questions will be asked in the adoption or foster care home study interview?
- How are beliefs about corporal punishment or spanking handled when adopting a baby? When adopting from foster care? When adopting internationally?
- Who in the family has to be interviewed as part of a home study?
- Will children in the family be interviewed?
- What if the children have mixed emotions or do not want another sibling?
- Who should you use as a reference for your adoption home study?
- What are social workers looking for when they evaluate the home for an adoption home study?
- How clean does the house have to be?
- How are pets considered as part of the home visit for adoption or foster care? How well behaved are your pets supposed to be?
- Do you have to own your own home to adopt or become a foster parent?
- Can you live in an apartment if you want to adopt or become a foster parent?
- What are social workers looking for when they evaluate the home for a foster care home study?
- What type of education or training is required when you want to adopt?
- What type of education or training is required when you want to foster?
- How much does an adoption home study cost?
- How much does a foster care home study cost?
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Image Credit: Province of British Columbia