Often our birth mothers want to know, “How do I know the adoptive family will provide a safe environment in which to raise my child?” While at the same time, adoptive parents want to know, “What do I need to do to prove we will provide a safe environment in which to raise a child?”
A good answer for both of the adoption triad is a HOME STUDY.
The purpose of the Home Study is to gather information about the prospective adoptive family, educate and prepare the prospective family for adoption, and evaluate the capability and suitability of the prospective family to adopt. The home study allows our agency to ensure the adoptive family is prepared to raise the child in a safe environment.
What is involved in the home study process?
Once you have decided the path for your adoption, a home study will need to be completed. If you decide to utilize our services, then we can help you start the process the home study. Typically, one home visit is required. Home studies conducted in Kansas are required to meet the following standards:
- Individual interviews with each adoptive parent
- Interview with any child 3 years or older and/or any other person living in the home.
- Joint interview with the adoptive parents
- A home visit
- If either adoptive parent has a child not living in the home, the worker must contact the child by phone or letter.
- Age of adoptive parents and a statement verifying documentation.
- Citizenship of adoptive parents and a statement verifying documentation.
- Marital Status of adoptive parents and a statement verifying documentation. Include all previous marriages and divorces. Include the quality of the marital relationship.
- A history of the adoptive parents’ residences over the past 10 years. Include the length of time spent at each residence.
- An assessment of the available community resources to meet the needs of children.
- The prospective adoptive parents’ motivation for adoption.
- Health status of the adoptive parents
- Physical, mental, and emotional status
- Substance abuse history
- Any disabilities of the adoptive parents
- The quality of the prospective adoptive parents’ immediate family relationship
- The adoptive parents’ feelings about their childhood and about their parents. Include any history of abuse or neglect and the resolution of the experience.
- The prospective adoptive parents’ attitude about the adoptive child’s religion, if applicable. Also, the health protection they plan to give a child if their religious beliefs prohibit certain medical treatments
- The adoptive parents’ feelings, values, and practices in regard to child care and discipline.
- Prospective adoptive parents’ sensitivity to and feelings about children who have been subject to abuse and/or separation from and loss of their biological parents.
- Adoptive parents’ sensitivity to and feelings about birth families. Their expectations about contact with the birth family.
- Attitude of the adoptive parents’ extended family regarding adoption. How much involvement will the extended family have with the adopted child?
- Adoptive parents’ expectations in relation to the child’s needs and abilities. The adoptive parents’ expectations for the immediate and for the extended future.
- Any limits of the prospective adoptive family to provide a nurturing environment for the child. What special needs of the child, background of the child, and characteristics of the child can the adoptive parents not accept?
- The financial status of the adoptive family.
- The results of the FBI, criminal history, and central registry background checks conducted on the prospective adoptive parents.
- The fertility of the prospective adoptive parents (in order to assess if the adoptive parents have unresolved feelings about their infertility and to assess if they can accept and parent a child not born to them).
- A telephone number for an entity where it is appropriate for the subject of the study to register complaints about how the pre-adoptive home screening was conducted.
How fast can the home study be completed?
We pride ourselves on our fast service. Normally, we will have a rough draft of the home study to you for review two weeks after the home visit. Of course, this depends on you completing your paperwork in a timely manner. The home study can easily be completed in less than a month as long as you complete the paperwork needed as quickly as possible.
When is payment due? What is your refund policy? Do you accept credit cards?
The non-refundable application fee is due with the application. The home study fee is due by the time of the home visit. Refunds of the home study fee will be considered on an individual basis and based on where the home study is in the process. We accept MasterCard and Visa.
Should I reveal to my social worker any criminal history or substance abuse history?
Yes! This information will be revealed and it is best to deal with it in an upfront and honest manner. Depending upon the nature of the offense or the substance abuse history, it is very likely that you will still be able to adopt. The criminal offense or the substance abuse history must be addressed in the home study process.
If you have any additional questions about the home study process, please call us at 877-903-4488. Or, if you’re ready to begin the home study process, you can download your adoption packet here and pay fees online.