Fear can be debilitating, making you unable to do anything but stand in place silently hoping the threat will pass. Adopting a child is not for the faint of heart. Love, effort, perseverance, and faith are all key components in a successful adoption journey.

There are endless fears when a family is considering adoption because they are navigating the unknown and unfamiliar. It may help to put your mind at ease by reviewing this blog series regarding the fears others have faced too.

  1. The Home Study

Any couples wanting to adopt must go through a pre-placement investigation (home study). That investigation period involves educating the couple about adoption and the special circumstances that go along with being an adopted person. The home study also involves vetting a family to make certain they are capable of safely and lovingly parenting a child.

For most families, the home study is not nearly as scary as they feared it might be. Although it’s not the “white glove test” the home study has important elements that help the couple discuss and discern their adoption plans as well as to help the case worker have a better understanding of their family.

Elements such as their marriage, family of origin, acceptance of significant people in their lives towards adoption, their financial status and ability to care for the child’s needs, disciplinary styles, feelings about birth parents and their reasons for adoption, religion, criminal activity, ability to cope with grief and loss, education, and occupations are all discussed.

The best advice I have given to families about a home study is to imagine if they had a child they needed to leave in someone else’s care when they left the country for the next six months. Would they give the child to just anyone who said they would take her or would they want some information about the family first? Obviously, knowing about the family is important! Furthermore, would it be a good idea to give the family some information about the child’s circumstances? Of course it is! Those two elements are what a home study is all about; educating the family on what it is like to adopt a child and asking all the right questions to make sure a family is prepared to care for them.

Case workers aren’t out to crush your adoption dreams because your window sills were dirty. Be willing to do the work involved in the education required, and be open and honest with your case worker during your interviews. The work of preparation and investigation will be worth it in the long run!

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