One of the most nerve wracking elements of the adoption process is the
Adoptive parents are always nervous bordering on terrified. If you find that you have more
questions than answers regarding what to expect from an upcoming Home
Study, go through the frequently asked questions below to put your mind at ease.
Question: What issues should we discuss together before sitting down to meet with
the social worker?
Answer: Some of the issues that you might want to be prepared to discuss with
the social worker include: your motivation for the adoption, ideas on
parenting and discipline, a disaster plan/s for your home, your estate
plan/whether or not you have a will in place and who will care for your
children upon your death.
Question: How long does the home study typically take to complete?
Answer: The home study can take anywhere from three to six months. The time period
varies depending upon the social worker’s schedule, the needs of
the child being adopted, how quickly you are able to complete the necessary
forms and obtain required documents, and the state agency.
Question: What documents will I need to have on hand for the home study?
Answer: Packets very by state, but some of the more obvious documents that you
will most likely need to have on hand include: marriage certificate (if
applicable), birth certificates, recent physical from a doctor, TB test
or chest x-ray, financial information (W-2, pay stubs, income tax information,
etc.), insurance policy coverage info, info for 3-4 references, etc.
Question: Is the home study a required part of the process?
Answer: Yes, the home study is a required part of the process in every state.
In Arizona there are two types of home studies: the full home study as
outlined or a more limited process that involves a full background check
and review of CPS reports (in certain circumstances where the adoptive
parent is closely related to the child or a step parent).
Rest assured that almost every adoptive parent is somewhere between nervous
and terrified about the home study. Something about having a social worker
in your home asking you questions makes adoptive parents feel that they
need to be perfect. The best advice available for a successful home study
is: Don't try to be perfect. No one is perfect; attempting to portray
this impossibility will simply be a red flag for the social worker. Be
honest. Know that you aren’t alone in being nervous about the home
study and how it could affect your adoption. It’s normal to be nervous.
Just remember to be yourself.
If you need additional information regarding the home study and how to
navigate the private adoption system,
contact Arizona Family Law Attorneys