If you plan to adopt a child, you need to prepare for a home study. As a part of the home study, you’ll be asked to provide certain documents and clearances to the case worker. You may also need to address any potential safety issues in your home. This blog looks at what you’ll have to provide and the things you’ll want to do to fully prepare for the home study.
Before the process can move forward, you must obtain a number of clearances regarding your behavior. Typically, the case worker will require that you submit to a criminal background check. You’ll also have to be cleared of any child abuse or neglect charges in the past five years. An FBI clearance and a sex offender clearance are also mandatory.
Documents You Must Provide
The case worker will require a number of documents to gather complete information about your health, finances, parenting style and reasons for adopting. You can expect to be asked to provide the following:
- Drivers license and birth certificate for all residents of the family home
- Social Security card
- Marriage certificate, if applicable
- Divorce decrees, if applicable
- Prior adoption orders
- Military discharge papers
- Immigration documents, including visa or green card
- Financial information, from verification of employment to tax returns, as well as proof of insurance on home, life and vehicles
- Health records, including a statement from a licensed physician regarding the heath status of all residents of the family domicile
- Passports and immunization records, if adopting internationally
- Statement of personal history
- Parenting plan
- Pet records
Household Safety Concerns
During the home visit, the case worker will look for potential health or safety risks posed to the child. Accordingly, you’ll want to be prepared to show the following:
- All doors and windows have secure screens and locks
- You have gates at the top of any stairs
- All medications, cleaning products or toxic materials are locked up or out of the child’s reach
- All outlets have covers
- You have everything necessary for a first aid kit
- Your smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are properly placed and functional
- You have a working fire extinguisher in the house
Contact Our Office
To set up an appointment, call us in Haddonfield at 856-429-5005 or in Woodbury at 856-845-2555. We can also be reached in Philadelphia at 215-563-2150 or by e-mail. For clients with personal injury or workers’ compensation claims, we offer a free initial consultation, and will represent you on a contingency basis, only charging attorney fees if we recover compensation for you.
Our offices are open weekdays between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Weekend and evening appointments may be arranged upon request. We will also come to your home or the hospital, if necessary.