If you are preparing to adopt a child you are already realizing the mountain of paperwork involved in becoming an approved adoptive parent. Along with the paperwork you will also have a social worker come to your home to interview you and inspect your home. While these terms may sound technical, this visit is not something to stress over. The two most important things you can do is be yourself and be honest. When the social worker comes for the visit she will be asking a lot of questions in an effort to get to know you and your family better and to fulfill the requirements of the home study according to state, federal, and international laws and regulations. Before the social worker will ask you the questions she will discuss with you your duty of candor. So what does candor mean exactly? According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary candor is “the quality of being open, sincere, and honest”.
It is important that you are open and honest with your social worker and adoption agency from the very beginning - in your paperwork and during your interviews. To withhold the truth about things that may have happened in your past for fear that you will not be approved or be judged will make things worse. You will be asked a lot of different questions about subjects such as:
- your social history
- your relationship with family
- criminal history
- child abuse history
- health history, including mental health
- marital relationship
- previous marriages
- parenting beliefs
- home study history
This is just an overview of the subjects covered in your paperwork and during a home study visit. At the time of application you will be asked to sign a duty to fully disclose statement and a sworn statement of criminal history. These two forms will be signed and notarized and should not be taken lightly. It is important that you answer the questions with honesty and sincerity, including any past details good or bad. Just because you may have had some unfavorable things happen in the past it does not mean you will not be approved. There are certain laws and regulations that govern the approval of an adoptive family and adoption agencies have to follow them carefully, but it does not automatically mean you won’t be approved if you have something negative in your history. Not being candid and upfront about the history at the time of application and signature of the sworn statement of criminal history can automatically disqualify you due to the lack of duty of candor. Your adoption agency will conduct a criminal background check, child abuse history checks from each state and country in which you have lived since the age of 18, and a vulnerable persons check. If there is something in the reports that was not disclosed to the agency, it will not reflect well upon your ability to be honest with the social worker and adoption agency.
So above all be honest, sincere and forthright with your social worker and adoption agency if you want to build your family through adoption.
Family Connections, Inc. is a New York State authorized agency that has achieved Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation. The agency provides home study services for families in New York State who are planning to adopt domestically or internationally. The agency supports families throughout New York State including in Syracuse, Cortland, Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, Watertown, Long Island, New York City and all town in between. To learn more about the agency's services please contact Renee or Anita at 607-756-6574 or email@example.com.
To learn more about the home study process, click below to download a free home study guide.