Adoption is exciting! But preparing to welcome your new child can be daunting. Out of the many steps in the Louisiana adoption process, many parents agreed that the Home Study was one of the most intimidating! But if you’re feeling stressed, don’t worry! Here are five expert tips to help you prepare for your home study.
- Get Clarity
A home study is a series of events to ensure that you have a stable, healthy environment for your adopted child to call home. The requirements include a series of interviews, presenting paperwork, going through medical exams, and hosting a social worker for a home visit.
- Prepare the Paperwork
Your adoption agency will send you a packet to guide you. According to ConsideringAdoption, paperwork can include: background checks, financial information, health statements, autobiographical statements, references, and more.
- Plan Your Home Visit
While this step often causes the most anxiety, it’s helpful to remember that social workers are not expecting perfection. They are looking for a home that will be safe and healthy for the adopted child. Don’t stress, just follow these simple steps recommended by Adoption.org:
- Clean your house. Remember that this doesn’t mean your house has to look like a magazine! Just work with what you have to make it clean and tidy.
- Install the recommended number of smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors. Check the batteries and replace if necessary. Make sure you have at least one fire extinguisher.
- If you own firearms, make sure they are stored properly. Do your research so that you are prepared to talk about your personal gun safety policy.
- Designate a room that will be the adopted child’s room. It’s okay if it isn’t decorated or fully furnished yet, the social worker will just need to evaluate the safety of the room.
- Make sure household cleaning supplies and any other potentially toxic household substances are stored in safe, child-proof locations.
- If you have a pool or jacuzzi, make sure you’re ready to discuss pool safety.
- Design and discuss a fire safety plan. Your house should have several safe escape routes and you should discuss these routes with your family.
- Be Honest About Your Past.
Lying only complicates your home study and could disqualify you from adoption. If you’ve had issues regarding the law, employment (such as frequent job changes), relationships (such as multiple marriages and divorces), or health (such as alcohol or substance abuse, or mental health issues), discuss it with your social worker. Explain how you’ve since changed or how you are managing the issues now. The only past conviction that will automatically disqualify you from the home study and your chance of adoption is any conviction of child abuse.
- Gather Your References!
These are people who know you well and can closely observe your lifestyle. Think of them as your personal credibility cheerleaders!
If your adoption is challenging, you’re not alone! Legal roadblocks can disrupt your plans, and confusing regulations can cause adoptive parents to make honest mistakes. If you’re trying to overcome adoption obstacles in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, or wondering what types of adoption are available to you, Miller, Hampton & Hilgendorf can help! We’ll assist you in navigating the process, understanding the requirements, and legally formalizing your adoption. Get started today by calling 225-343-2205 or contacting us online.
3960 Government St.
Baton Rouge, LA 70806