Do you love your home as much as I love mine? I hope so. For me, home is a safe place. It’s comfortable. It’s where I can put my feet up on the coffee table, watch some Food Network show and have my dog cuddled up on the couch with me. It’s where I entertain 20+ friends and family at Thanksgiving and where I love to host friends throughout the year. The nieces spend weekends with me and we laugh until too late, bake new recipes (not all winners!) and love spending time with each other.
Now, imagine someone coming into your house critiquing everything! Is it safe? Is it well lit? Is there a park nearby? Are there children in the neighborhood? Will children be comfortable here? Is there a smoke detector and carbon monoxide alarm in every bedroom (good thing for everyone to have)? Are all medicines locked up…yes, literally locked up. Is alcohol out of the way and either put up high or in places children can’t get to it? Are all chemicals locked up? Is your knife drawer locked…yes, literally locked! Do you have carseats for children you don’t yet have…yup!
These are some of the things that adoptive parents need to consider before their homestudy. It sounds super daunting and my first sentence of the paragraph above is somewhat of a dramatic one but it’s not really that bad.
Your homestudy is a critical part to the adoption process and there are technically two definitions to the homestudy.
- Full study of the home environment including the items listed above and it also includes a sit down conversation with your social worker (at your house) so that he/she can find out more about you. The entire process can take anywhere from 1-2 hours.
- The complete “report” of your suitability to be a parent. This includes the homestudy listed above, but also includes references from friends and family, your background check, fingerprint check, employment history, relationship with your friends and family, financial standing… Think of this more as the thesis of your adoption process.
No matter the route that you take (private adoption, foster to adopt, adopting known children from family members, lawyer only adoption…) you have to go through this process. The agency/lawyer/social worker that you’re working with can help you through the process and you’re not expected to be perfect. And by being perfect I don’t mean that you have freshly baked cookies on the stove. I mean that if you forget to buy a locked safe for your DayQuil, that you won’t fail. You’ll be asked to buy one so that children can’t easily access medicine.
It’s not nearly as daunting as it feels and the two that I’ve had in the past for private adoption, were very easy. In fact, the second homestudy I sat and chatted with my social worker for almost two hours! They’re expensive with private adoption, but they have to be done.
Would your home pass a homestudy? While you think about it, I’m going to go polish my silver for my next homestudy.