The Home Study Interview: How to Prepare Yourself and Stress Less
Wanting to adopt a child is a wonderful experience in life! It can also, however, seem scary and stressful. Many people assume the adoption process to be long, strenuous, and difficult, so they avoid adoption altogether. While the adoption process itself can be stressful, it can also be life-changing. Here at Adoption Choices of Kansas, we don’t want you to feel intimidated by adoption. Rather, we want you to feel secure, comfortable, and confident in your choice. We can help you through every step of the adoption process and be your guide on your journey to adoption. Therefore, here we explore the home study interview.
One thing adoptive parents need to understand about adoption is that there is a process—steps to follow in a specific order. Every step of the adoption process has a purpose—to ensure that the child will be in a safe, healthy, and loving home. We work together with birth mothers who are placing their child up for adoption, many of them concerned about the environment and family their child will be placed with. Our goal is to ensure that all parties involved in the adoption feel comfortable about the adoption plan—this is where the Home Study Interview comes into play.
What is a Home Study Interview?
A home study interview involves a professional adoption specialist conducting a meeting in the prospective parents’ home. They document certain aspects of their lives and the environment they live in, all to gauge the dynamics of the family and if they are ready for an adopted child in their home.
It’s important to note that these interviews are not a test. Many adoptive parents stress frantically about this process, believing it to be a test of their wealth or family relationships. We understand the anxiety that stems from these interviews, but we also want to break this stereotype of a home study interview. The ultimate purpose of the home study interview is to understand how the adoptive family lives their daily lives and if an adopted child will fit in their home. Agencies and adoptive families both want the same thing, to ensure that the adopted child will grow up with caring people in a loving household.
How Can You Prepare for Your Home Study Interview?
Through an adoption agency, our team of professionals can help prepare you for your home study interview! You can work with any of our adoption agencies in Kansas to start your process. We can provide you with a list of documents to have on hand ahead of your interview, as well as some questions you will be expected to answer. Through our guidance, you will find the interview process to be less of an intimidation and more of a welcomed step as you begin your adoption journey!
Necessary Documents, Financial, and Health Information
You’ll find that the most lengthy part of this home study interview might be the paperwork. There will be paperwork before, during, and after the interview. You’ll also have to have some important documentation available before the interview. For example, you’ll want to be prepared to show the following:
- Birth certificates for every member of the family
- Marriage/divorce license
- Foster parent documentation (if applicable)
- Income tax form
- Paycheck stub
- W-2 forms
- Health and life insurance
- Any other paperwork regarding investments and/or debt
- Updated physical health exam (from within the last 12 months)
- Tuberculosis testing results
- Any life-threatening conditions
- Criminal background check paperwork
- Possible fingerprint testing
All of this can seem like a lot—it can be very overwhelming! We understand. While all of this numerous paperwork can be overstimulating, it’s necessary to guarantee your safety as well as the safety of the child. Your social worker wants to go over your financial history and medical records to make sure you have the financial stability to raise a child and ensure that your medical history does not affect your ability to adopt. Again, the home study interview is not a test to see how wealthy your family is but to show that you are responsible with your finances.
Questions During the Home Study Interview
Part of the services we offer in Wichita are there to provide comfort for the birth mothers. Many expectant mothers start the adoption process feeling apprehensive and concerned about their choice to place their baby up for adoption. This is something we want the prospective parents to understand—it’s why the home study interview is so integral. Not only can the interview comfort you about your choice to adopt, but your answers can also comfort the birth families. We want both parties to feel good about their adoption plan, and the home study interview is a huge part of that. Here is a list of some questions you can prepare for during your interview.
The Beginner Questions—Getting to Know You and Your Family
- What do you do for a living?
- Do you enjoy your job?
- Tell us some of your hobbies
- How would you describe yourself? What characteristics do you inhabit?
- Tell us about your marriage and your relationship with your partner
Understanding Your Lifestyle and Routine
- What was your upbringing like? How is your relationship with your parents/family?
- How would you describe your parenting style and techniques?
- How has your childhood shaped you?
- What is your life like today?
- What is your neighborhood/community like?
- How is your health? Do you have a history of chronic illness?
- How is your job security? Are you financially stable to provide for your child?
- What is your plan for school?
Onto the Topic of Adoption
- Why are you choosing to adopt? Why do you want to?
- How well do you understand the adoption process? Are you prepared for what’s to come?
- Do you know of the unique challenges that your child may face that stem from being adopted?
- What are your hopes for your child?
When it comes to the interview process, take your time to examine the list and practice answering some of these questions. You’ll find the process similar to that of a job interview—a social worker can tell when you’ve taken the time to prepare your answers. The more practice you put in, the better you will feel during the interview. Whatever way you choose to practice is up to you—write down your answers, do a mock interview with your partner/family, or even just repeat your answers to yourself. Whatever process works for you, remember to be open and honest during your interview!
We are overall looking for your suitability for adoption during these interviews. If you remember to practice beforehand, have confidence in your answers, and be yourself, your interview will go smoothly! Stay honest and be open to advice—these questions may seem invasive, but remember that we have the same goal—to provide a loving home for an adopted child.