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Adoptive couple at their front door, welcoming the social worker for their home studyOne of the most common types of questions we get from hopeful adoptive parents is about the adoption home study. Even though the approved home study is needed for you to adopt, you don’t need to get stressed out or anxious about it.

By reading the common questions we’ve been asked, you’ll know better what to expect with the home study process, and how to prepare. Learning more about this necessary prerequisite in your adoption will put your mind at ease and motivate you to take charge of the next step toward building your family!

Here are some common questions we get about the adoption home study, and our answers:

Question: What is a home study?

Answer: Home studies may seem daunting if you’re just starting out. But, it’s basically just a story about who you are, how you were raised, your belief systems, how healthy you are, and your financial condition. It’s a presentation of a story about who you are and your abilities to be able to parent a child. The document that the social worker conducting your home study writes becomes a legal document which is then approved by a judge. So, it becomes part of your adoption paperwork.

Your home study will many times be tailored to your adoption preferences. For example, if an adoptive couple hopes to adopt a special needs child, then the social worker will do their home study with that in mind. That’s why a preference worksheet is such an important tool in the home study: it allows you to specify to the social worker what it is you’re seeking in adoption.

Question: How do you get started with a home study?

Answer: Contact an agency that writes home studies. Depending on your state, the home study will need to be conducted by a licensed social worker, a social worker, or one with specific experience. At Lifetime, we connect our adoptive couples with the appropriate home study agency based on what state they live in. Many times, people think that their house and family have to be perfect and in order to have a home study. That’s not true: the home study writer wants to come in and see how you really live and see who you are so that you’re matched with the right situation.

Question: Why do you need a home study?

Answer: Because the adoption center representing birth moms needs to make sure that you’re qualified to adopt. The home study writer will make a recommendation on adoption once the home study is completed. So, it’s a document that’s legally required to adopt.

You may be traveling to another state to adopt and pick up your baby. Your home study needs to be completed and current in order for that state to approve the baby to move into your home. Your home state also needs to see your home study so that they can approve that the baby come into your home.

Finally, the home study writer will need to do post-placement visits to make sure that the baby is well taken care of in your home.

We will dive into even more questions in part 2 of this two-part blog series next week. We’ll start off with what post-placement visits involve. So please stay tuned!

Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.
Written by Mardie Caldwell, C.O.A.P.

Founder of Lifetime Adoption, adoptive mom, adoption expert, and Certified Open Adoption Practitioner (C.O.A.P).

Since 1986, adoption expert Mardie Caldwell has been dedicated to bringing couples and birth parents together in order to fulfill their dreams.

“Many years ago, I was also searching for a child to adopt. We didn’t know where or how to get started. Through research, determination, and a prayer, our dream of a family became reality. I started with a plan, a notebook, assistance from a caring adoption consultant and a lot of hard work; this was my family I was building. We had a few heartaches along the way, but the pain of not having children was worse!

Within weeks we had three different birth mothers choose us. We were overwhelmed and delighted. Many unsettling events would take place before our adoption would be finalized, many months later. Little did I know that God was training and aligning me for the adoption work I now do today. It is my goal to share with our families the methods and plans which succeed and do not succeed. I believe adoption should be affordable and can be a wonderful “pregnancy” for the adoptive couple.

I have also been on both sides of infertility with the loss of seven pregnancies and then conceiving by new technology, giving birth to a healthy daughter. I have experienced first-hand the emotional pain of infertility and believe my experience allows me to serve your needs better.

It is my hope that for you, the prospective parents, your desire for a child will be fulfilled soon.”

Read More About Mardie Caldwell

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