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The home study opens the doors to adopting a child

Having children is a joyous occasion. You certainly have friends on Facebook who post minute-by-minute accounts of their pregnancies, deliveries and their child's every facial expression. While you may share their joy, a part of you also aches to share their experience.

There are many reasons why people choose to adopt. You may be a single person who has much to offer a child. Perhaps you are in a same-sex marriage and want children to complete your family. Maybe you and your spouse have struggled long enough with infertility. Whatever your reasons, the decision to adopt a child is not easily made, and, exciting as it may be, the process of adoption can sometimes be frustrating, beginning with the home study.

Your home

The home study has many components and, therefore, may be rather lengthy, so you will want to allow adequate time. The state of Kentucky certifies private home-study providers to come to the homes of people desiring to adopt children. These providers are not coming to your home wearing white gloves and peering under your beds. They simply want to see if your home complies with housing codes such as:

  • A fence around your pool
  • Safety railings on stairways
  • Smoke detectors
  • Reasonably clean and sanitary

In addition to a visual inspection of your home, the providers will conduct private interviews with all members of your household. The purpose of these interviews is to ensure that everyone in the home is in agreement about bringing an adopted child into the family. The interviews will be informal and conversational, and you will need to provide the contact information for personal references, whom providers will also interview.

Your adoption goals

An important part of the home study is to ascertain your goals for the adoption of a child. For example, the provider will want to know if you have preferences for any of the following:

  • Age
  • Gender
  • Race
  • Special needs

The home study will focus on these characteristics. If you have stated your openness to adopting a child with special needs, the provider will assess the fitness of your home for such a child.

Your health and well-being

A check of your health and history will be the final part of the home study. The provider will check the criminal background of each member of your family, but a criminal record does not necessarily preclude you from eligibility to adopt unless your name is on the national sex offender registry. While the state of Kentucky does not require adopting parents to be wealthy, agents will investigate your finances, tax returns and income to ensure your home is financially stable.

Finally, adopting a child means you will likely have to submit to a physical and mental examination. Again, you do not have to have perfect health to qualify, but a statement from your physician must confirm that you are healthy enough to raise a child. When the documents for your home study are complete, the adoption process may begin.

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