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The home study part of the adoption process

When parents are expecting a baby, they may organize the house, purchase important items, clear out a room and make sure everything is clean. The main reason may be to make things easier during the hectic weeks that follow the birth of a baby, but it is also a gesture of welcome to the child who is about to change their lives.

You may wish to take similar steps if you are going through the adoption process. However, much of your cleaning, organizing and preparing may be in anticipation of the home study that Kentucky law requires of adoptive parents. You may be understandably nervous to have a social worker or other agent prepare a report about the fitness of your family for the adoption of a child, but it is a critical part of the process.

Knowing what to expect

At some point as authorities handle your application for adoption, you will have to submit to a home study. This is a comprehensive look into your life, and it may feel quite invasive. It often takes several months and numerous visits to complete. If you keep its purpose in mind – to ensure no child ends up in a dangerous or risky environment – you may have less anxiety about participating. Some of the important areas the home study will cover include the following:

  • Your personal memories of your childhood and your upbringing
  • Your views on discipline and child rearing
  • Your health, especially if you have any communicable diseases or conditions that may impair your ability to raise a child
  • Your income and the state of your finances
  • Your criminal background

The interviewer may also examine your neighborhood's resources and the schools your adopted child may attend. If you have other children, the agent may wish to meet and speak with them to gauge their feelings about having another child in the home. Finally, the agency may ask you to provide personal references from those who can vouch for your fitness as a parent.

While the entire adoption process may feel like a rollercoaster ride, a lot depends on completing a successful home study. While the social worker who visits your home is not looking for perfection, you certainly want your home to make a positive impression. You may find it helpful to gain as much information about the process as you can and take advantage of any helpful resources as you prepare for this challenging step in the adoption process.

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