The adoption of a child either domestically or internationally is a lengthy but rewarding process. After you have explored all the adoption options open to you and you have chosen an agency to work with you will begin the home study process. It might seem overwhelming when you learn about all the paperwork that has to be completed and that a social worker must visit your home and interview you and your spouse, don’t stress about this. Here are some things to think about when it comes to adoption paperwork and the home visit:
- Get a clear understanding of what paperwork is required by your adoption agency.
- Organize and prioritize your paperwork so that important documents get completed first.
- Stay in good communication with your agency so that you are aware of your next steps.
- Complete and submit your paperwork in a timely manner.
- Have all of your paperwork in before the home visit. This gives the social worker a chance to get to know you before the visit so they can be prepared with any questions they may have based on your paperwork.
- Set goals and deadlines for completing your paperwork, it will help keep you focused on the next steps.
- Remember this is not just a time for the social worker to come and interview you and see your home, it is also a time when the social worker can prepare you and support you as you become an adoptive parent.
- Prepare for your home visit and interview by:
- Making a list of any questions you may have for the social worker.
- Ensuring all fire arms are appropriately locked including all ammunition.
- Making sure that smoke detectors and a carbon monoxide detector are installed and in working order.
- The home meets safety and suitability standards for children.
- Above all be yourself, most people worry about the home visit and then after say they really enjoyed the experience!
The home study process does not have to be a time of stress and worry. You are on this journey to bring a child into your home and build your family through adoption, enjoy this time. All of your experiences will be part of your child’s adoption story, take the time to reflect on the moments you will want to share with your child. This is a good time to learn all you can through reading adoption books and materials. If you want suggestions for reading materials reach out to your social worker or home study agency, they are an excellent source for this information. Remember your adoption social worker is a good source of information, especially if they themselves are an adoptive parent. They work with many adoptive families and children and they can help you understand what to expect.
Family Connections, Inc. is a New York State authorized child placing agency who has achieved Hague accreditation through the Council on Accreditation. Family Connections provides home study and post placement/adoption services for international and domestic adoptions. For more information on the home study process you can download our Adoption Home Study Guide below.