A Deep Dive into the Adoption Home Study: In-Home Visit
By: RJ Jolibois
You’re searching for the adoption home study as an adoptive parent trying to prepare for this serious next step in your adoption process. You may be feeling nervous, anxious, or hyperaware. You want to know how to put your best foot forward. The adoption home study process is a very important step when it comes to adoption. It ensures the safety of everyone involved. Birth mothers already make a difficult decision placing their baby up for adoption. They want to make sure the adoptive family who will care for their child is safe and well prepared. Additionally, the home study process serves to keep adoptive parents aware of all the responsibilities that come with raising a baby. It can serve to remind you of things you may not have thought of in your preparations.
The home study process entails collecting documentation from you and your spouse, interviewing the members of your household, and home visits. In this article, we’ll do a deep dive into the in-home visit part of the home study process. We’ll provide a comprehensive review and address common concerns and what to be prepared for.
Who Does the In-Home Visit in the Home Study Process?
Typically, in-home visits are conducted by social workers. These social workers are assigned to your adoption case by the state. They are trained on what to look for when they visit your home. Expect the social worker to strike up conversation with you in order to get a better picture of who you and your spouse are.
In addition, the social worker to whom you are assigned will also be your point of contact. If you have questions about next steps or what documents you need to submit, the social worker can help you. They will also guide you through the rest of the home study process. Keep in mind, the social worker is also who you will be turning in all your documentation to. If you have further questions about that, they will be best equipped to answer.
What Do Social Workers Look for During the Adoption Home Study In-Home Visit?
In terms of what the social worker is looking for, there are a variety of things. In general, they want to make sure your home is a safe, child-friendly environment. That is the overall picture they want to see. They usually are not interested in your home being perfect in terms of cleanliness, although it is advised to keep a reasonably organized home. Signs of a lived-in home and family clutter is expected; that’s nothing to obsess over. Again, they are mainly looking for a home safe for a child.
To elaborate, there are specific things to be aware of that the social worker is going to pay attention to that must be addressed. Firstly, you’re going to want to make sure that your home is secure from child dangers. This is called child-proofing. You want to ensure you get used to having a child-proof home for when you bring a baby into your life. This means buying child-proof locks to put on cabinets, drawers, and doors. If there’s anywhere that a curious baby may try to open or access that contains dangerous chemicals or objects, make sure it’s locked up in a way a baby can’t get in. This includes but is not limited to: hazardous materials, cleaning agents, car maintenance supplies, laundry detergents, and weapons. Weapons are especially important to make sure that they are not only locked up, but completely out of reach of children.
You’re going to also want to have covers on all electrical outlets, have functioning fire detectors, fire extinguishers, and first aid kits. In addition, the social worker will inspect your outdoor environment for child safety measures as well. Look into swimming pool safety methods (if applicable) and make sure your backyard is clear of any dangers.
What to do to Prepare for a Home Study?
In preparation of an in-home visit, make sure that you have the documents that the social worker will need. They may ask you to present them on the first visit. You also can do your own check of your home to make sure it’s ready and looks child safe. However, don’t worry if you don’t check off all the boxes from the first visit. Remember that there will be multiple in-home visits, and you don’t have to be perfect from the first one! The social worker is there to work with you and help make sure you are ready. They will be able to point out anything that you are missing so that you can address it before the next visit. There will be multiple in-home visits throughout the home study process, so you will have several months to get everything in place.
What Will They Ask me During the Adoption In-Home Visit?
One important aspect of the in-home visit is the interview part. It will be more of a casual conversation instead of a strict interview. Your social worker may walk around your home and ask you questions. They may also sit down and chat to get to know your spouse.
The questions will span from asking you about your life, your reasons for adopting, and how you feel about the adoption process. Be prepared to talk about anything and everything, as this is the chance for the social worker to really get to know you. They want to get a sense of the type of couple you are and how prepared you are to raise a baby. The questions and your responses will be included in the home study report that the social worker has to submit.
Additionally, the social worker will interview all members of your household, including other children typically above age five. One thing to be aware of is that the interview will take place together and separately. They want to hear your answers as a couple and individually to make sure both parties are just as excited and feel the same about the adoption process.
Looking for Adoption Home Study Help in Missouri or Kansas?
The process of how to adopt a child involves many parts that can be overwhelming. There is an extensive adoption home study checklist to keep track of. If you’re an adoptive couple looking to adopt a child in Missouri or Kansas, we can help. Adoption Choices is an agency located in both of those states. Our adoption counselors can help inform you on your adoption home study in Missouri and Kansas. Connect with us to get more information on how to adopt a baby today!
Check out The Importance of A Home Study