What is involved in a home study?
Prospective adoptive parents must undergo a home study before they can adopt a child. The home study is essentially an investigation by the state to ensure that the prospective adoptive parents are fit to raise the child. A social worker will generally conduct the home study and submit a report on the suitability of the adoptive parents. In some states, this report must be filed in the adoption court. The report will generally include information about the prospective adoptive parents’:
• Health – mental and physical
• Other children, if any
• Marital relationship
• Criminal convictions if any
The homestudy is an important part of the adoption process. It forms the basis for counseling of the prospective adoptive parents. For example, if the adoptive parents already have children, then based on the homestudy report, they will be counseled on how to integrate the adopted child into the family.
What can I do if the homestudy report is unfavorable?
Everything in the report may not be according to your plans. Unless there is something major that can prevent you from adopting, there is nothing to be worried about. All issues can be discussed with the social worker and resolved amicably. In most states, you can contest an unfavorable report.