Reaching the decision to adopt is the most difficult part of the process. You’ve already opened your heart and made the commitment to welcome a child into your family. Presumably you’ve considered all the advantages and challenges this new child will bring and are ready to provide a loving and safe home. The next step on your journey is to complete an adoption home study.

8 Elements of an Adoption Home Study

Many potential parents feel as though they are being judged, but the social worker who performs your adoption home study wants you to succeed. Everyone hopes to find caring parents who are emotionally and financially equipped to raise a child. You don’t have to have a fancy home, just one that is safe and full of love.

The adoption home study will focus on the following:

Fact-checking: Your financial background and criminal history will have been researched, but caseworkers must observe whether other information that you provided is in line with what they observe.

Safety: Check your smoke detectors, develop a fire safety plan, fence your swimming pool, block chemical or drug-storage locations and perform other safety measures. Put latches on cabinets and show how you’ll prevent access to stairs, outlets and other dangerous areas.

Space: A separate bedroom for your adopted child isn’t usually required. But if you have other children, make sure that gender has been considered when you make room assignments.

Finances: You don’t have to be rich, but you do need a sufficient income. Show that you pay your bills and can afford a decent home, food, health care and transportation for a child.

Health: Good mental and physical health is needed to keep up with children and handle the normal stress related to parenting. Can you discipline a child without abuse? If you have a physical disability, show the person conducting the adoption home study that it doesn’t prevent you from effectively parenting.

Support: We all need someone we can call on for encouragement or for help in times of crisis. Do you have friends, family or others who support the adoption and will step in to relieve you when needed?

Religious and cultural background: What are the cultural norms in your home and how will a child be raised? Do you require certain behaviors in accordance with your religion?

Motivation: The adoption home study provides a good opportunity for the caseworker to talk with you and other family members in your household in the comfort of your home. They want to make sure everyone understands the impact a new child will make on your relationships.

The adoption home study is a good exercise for every parent. It ensures the safety of the child, and it helps identify issues you need to address before bringing a child home. Contact the experienced social workers at Legacy Adoption Services if you are ready to set up your home study.