Though there are many different approaches to adoption—domestic and international, open and private, agency and stepparent—one of the constants with all adoptions is the home study. The home study will cover many aspects of your life, from your personal history and background to your financial status, your health and your parenting skills and experience. At some point during the process, you can expect a visit in your home, as well as an interview.
It’s important to understand, though, that you don’t have to be a passive participant in your home study. In fact, the more involved you are, the better prepared you’ll be. Here are some tips for making the home study process as easy as possible.
Know Why You Want to Adopt
There are many good reasons to adopt. When you are preparing for your home study, stop and think about why adoption is important to you. You can expect that the subject will come up during your home study and if you’ve put some thought into it in advance, you’ll be more relaxed and better able to communicate why you want to adopt.
Choose a Home Study Provider Who’s Close to You
If you are working with an agency, they will most likely be able to complete the home study. But you don’t have to use them. If you are adopting internationally and using an agency located in another state, you can still have the home study done by a local person. In addition, if you are adopting internationally, make certain the home study provider is Hague accredited.
Complete All Paperwork before the Home Visit
As part of the home study, you’ll have a number of forms to fill out, as well as a number of documents to provide. Gather the required information, complete the forms and compile them together in a folder or envelope.
Make Certain Your Home is Safe for a Child
Your home doesn’t need to be fully child-accessible by the time of the home visit, but if you have a pool or other safety risk, you should either have taken safety precautions or be able to explain what safety precautions will be taken. Note that it’s not essential that you have a completed nursery or even a separate room for the child at the time of the visit, but you’ll want to be able to show where the child will sleep, play and eat.
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.