How to Prepare for Adoption
Every prospective parent has to undergo a pre-adoption evaluation known as ‘home study’, before they can be approved for adoption. A home study operates as a record that lists aspects of your life such as your health and financial information, family history, parenting plan and personal background. It also consists of undergoing a series of interviews, a psychological test and home visits from a social worker. Naturally, prospective parents view the home study process as being nerve racking. Fortunately, we compiled a list of tips to consider to ensure that you can prepare adequately for adoption.
1) Prepare Your Home
During your home study, a social worker will evaluate your residence to determine if it’s a safe environment for a child to live in. Therefore, most experts suggest that prospective parents should declutter and clean their homes. In fact, consider the possibility of hiring a professional cleaning contractor such as a maid. Social workers will go through each room, but they usually spend less than 10 minutes looking at the safety features of each room. Additionally, ensure that:
- Swimming pools are fenced and covered.
- Weapons are stored in a locked gun safety box.
- Smoke alarms and carbon monoxide alarms are in the main living areas of the building.
- Use short window drape cords.
- Household cleaners and pesticide should be stored in cupboards with child proof locks.
2) Treat Your Social Worker Like A Friend
One of the things that can help to alleviate the stresses that are associated with the pre-adoption evaluation process is to think of the social worker as a guest, as opposed to an authority figure. Meaning, conversations should have a friendly tone and similarly to a guest, you should offer them tea or coffee. The point of doing this, isn’t to gain favors per se, but to make them feel comfortable. After all, the point of a pre-adoption evaluation is to determine if you can provide a safe and comfortable environment for the child.
3) Prepare For Your Interviews
To a certain extent, your interview is akin to a secondary psychological test. Your assigned social worker will conduct an interview to evaluate your intentions, your history and suitability. Some of the general topics you’ll have to discuss include:
- Health history
- Reason as to why you want to adopt
- Relationship/Marriage history
- Stress management techniques
- How you plan to discipline a child
It helps to become aware of the topics you’ll be discussing so that you can provide an accurate, well thought out answer.
4) Gather Necessary Documents Beforehand
The last thing you should do is to rush through the paperwork you’ll be given. This can be tempting as you’ll be given an abundance of paperwork to fill out, as well as to submit multiple documents. But, by becoming aware of the type of paperwork you’ll be filing out, you can get the necessary documents together to expedite the process of filling them out. To prepare for adoption, some of the type of paperwork you’ll be completing includes:
- Personal references
- Employer references
- Financial statements
- Birth certificate
- Marriage license
- Adoption education requirements
- Background checks
- Health statements
If you need assistance with an adoption evaluation. contact us here.