Surviving an adoption home study…

The home study is an important part of the adoption process and will take about 3-6 months. My social worker Sherry, attempted to create a picture or description of what I was about. At this point, one’s life becomes a open book.  (Hopefully you have no skeletons in your closet?)

A social worker tries to assemble a collage or resume of you and your partner or spouse. He or she is trying to make determinations about:

1) Are you able to create a positive, healthy environment?

2) Do you have a stable career or job, can you afford to provide the basic needs of a child?

3) What are your plans for the child when you are at work?

4) If you are single, what other family members might be a part of the child’s life?

5) How “childproof” is your home, is it safe ?

6) Is there any criminal background or activity?

7) If partnered or married, is your relationship stable? Loving?

8)  What are your attitudes towards children?

Another part of the process is choosing the gender and health of your child.

Bringing a child into your family is a big decision and major change in one’s life. The social worker tries to determine how realistic is it that you are willing or able to make needed changes?

I remember talking to a woman who was interested in adoption and had something like 4-6 pets in her home. Much of her spare time was taken up with feeding and caring for her pets. She wasn’t sure if she had time for a child. (Did you see that little red flag go up, flapping furiously?)

A home study will likely be sent to other adoption agencies who have children waiting to be placed in homes. They try to match your preferences with the child’s needs.

For my situation, the whole process took about a year. However, I think this may have been unusual. It is more common to take two years and longer if you are particular about race, gender and health.

Tip: A child has no one to depend upon but his/her parent. A potential mom or dad must be mature enough to set aside one’s own wants for the needs of a child. Someday, there will be time for you again!

dr pers ©2007

Other posts in this series:

Reasons to adopt a child

You’re hoping to adopt and they ask if you’re gay…

Next post in series: “Can I love a child of another race?”

4 thoughts on “Surviving an adoption home study…

  1. cturpen

    Interesting stuff. I’ve never really known anything about the process of adoption.

    Sidenote: we always had 4-6 pets in our house growing up; cats, dogs, hamsters, fish, etc. We managed pretty well and my parents made real animal lovers out of us, in the process. Although, I can see the initial transition of adopting a child could be tricky with that many animals. 🙂 Personally, I never want a household without pets. RIght now we have 3, and that is enough because Roland is so young, but I would love to have more cats, if I didn’t have allergies. 😦

  2. Brian

    I would think that having pets that are well-cared for would almost be a plus in the review process. It shows nurture and discipline.

    I guess having a houseful might be detrimental, though.

  3. downrightpersonal Post author

    I remember that my social worker thought that pets were good, in reasonable numbers. (She had two dogs.)

    1. Not all pets are compatible with young chidren and vice versa.

    2. As a single parent, I can tell you I had my hands full and then some with one child, a job and houshold responsibilities.

    3. If there are two parents to take care of a child, some extra pets may not be a big deal.

    4. The woman I mentioned in the post, as I recall, had several outdoor animals like a horse and chickens, as well as several dogs and cats in the house. She appeared to be sort of interested in having a child, but did not want to give up any of the animals.

    If someone expressed their doubts about having time for a child, and couldn’t imagine giving up any of their pets, would you be anxious to place a child with him or her?


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