Blog// LGBT Adoptive Parents

Preparing for Your Home Study

The words ‘home study’ can send a shudder of dread through even seasoned adopters, and while the home study isn’t something to be afraid of, it’s easy to see why many prospective parents feel this way about it. Often seen as the last major hurdle before being approved for adoption, many parents can worry that they’ve come so far only to fall at the final hurdle, or that they are being judged and scrutinized.

In this article we’ll be taking a closer look at the home study, learning what it is, and some top tips to help you make it through!

 

What is the Home Study?
A home study is a lengthy document that tells the story of you as a family, both past and present. It explores who you are, the values you hold, your finances, your health status, your outlook and reasons for adoption, as well as your parenting style. A completed and approved home study is proof that you have been deemed fit to parent and adopt. The home study is completed by a social worker over a series of visits and interviews which will give them the information used to write your home study document.

 

What to Expect

  1. Expect to be asked a lot of questions

  2. Expect to be spoken to one-on-one. Older children may be interviewed too

  3. You may need to fill out a survey

  4. A professional yet friendly and relaxed environment

  5. To be open and honest

  6. To speak about sensitive topics (if deemed relevant)

 

Some Tips to Survive the Home Study

  1. Fundraise: Home studies usually cost around $1,000, so ensure you factor this amount in when fundraising for your adoption.

  2. Plan Ahead!: Be prepared as much as possible for your home study. Your adoption agency or lawyer will be able to best advise you on how to do this. Planning ahead will mean that you aren’t left with a mad rush a day before the first visit.

  3. Prepare Documentation: Your social worker will likely want to see a selection of documentation during one of your home study visits. To make that easier, gather relevant documents and store them in an easy to access place. Documents you’re likely to need may include: birth and marriage certificates, divorce decrees, financial statements such as tax returns, verification of employment, medical reports, reference letters, background checks, and child abuse checks.

  4. Clean Up: Before your home visit, give your house a good clean. You don’t need to go crazy, but a little bit of spring cleaning can help make a good first impression.

  5. Safety: Check or install fire detectors, smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, and fire extinguishers. Discuss your fire safety plan with your family. Also, if you’re intending to adopt an infant, think ahead about the safety measures you may need to add such as cabinet locks, baby gates, door screens, and any other safety measures your home may need, so you will easily be able to discuss these factors with your social worker if needed.

 

Most importantly, relax and be yourself. Most of the social workers undertaking home studies have been doing it for years and will see through any persona anyway! Don’t be afraid to show your personality — after all, getting to know you is part of the home study process!



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