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