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Home Study

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Home Study Process

Individuals wishing to adopt must be approved by a home study agency to do so. Home Study can be done by a Licensed Social Service Worker (SSW) or an licensed agency within your state of residence (www.1800homestudy.com). To do a Home study through an agency is more expensive, but faster. The families can find an SSW through Secretary of State or county social service department or Yellow Pages. The information is normally found in the Yellow Pages under Adoption Services. Oftentimes, a home study will cost $700 to $1,500 depending on your state and social workers. The entire home study could take as little as one month to as many as six, depending on the number of other home studies the social worker is working on.

This process is done by a social worker that gathers documents from you, interviews you, comes into your home, and provides you with information concerning adoption. The social worker is there to help you, not to judge you. Agencies are much more interested in bringing families together, than keeping them apart.

Interview Process

There will be interviews with you and your spouse together, and one on one interviews alone, as well as speaking to any other children residing in the home. The social worker will be exploring your ideas about parenting with you. How were you parented, how you feel about corporal punishment, do you have positive feelings about your parents? If you are interracially adopting, your feelings and those of your extended family will be explored concerning this issue. What are your plans for childcare? How do you feel this will change your role in the family? A good social worker will become a close friend throughout and after your adoption process. They are on your side, they want these children placed in loving homes as much as you want a child placed in your home. They must cover all of these areas in order to write an acceptable home study for a foreign country. Be yourself. be honest.

Suggestion: Remember, you are hiring this person. If you can, call several agencies until you speak with a person with whom you are comfortable. If you have to get on a waiting list to have your home study completed, keep looking. This could add months onto the adoption process.

Preparing for the Home Study

You don't have to be rich or own your own home to adopt. The social worker will be looking over your life to make sure you can financially handle the added addition to your family. She will be asking questions to make sure that you and your spouse, if you have one, agree on how to raise children, and how you both feel about adoption, and she will also look over your house to make sure that you have enough room for an additional child.

Below you will find a list of questions and resources your social worker may use for your home study visits.

Resources You Must Compile for the Home Study

* Your Autobiography. You will either have to provide a written autobiography or a timeline with information about yourself. Just start with when you were born and include facts that will help the social worker learn more about how you were raised, major stepping stones in your life, and a little about how you feel about life in general. It is very easy, and sometimes the social worker will provide you with a list of items she wants included.

* Major Documents. You will need to have copies of the following Birth Certificates, Marriage License, Divorce Decrees, Death Certificates, Tax Returns, Bank Account Statement, and Local Police Arrest Record. You gather these documents yourself and give them to your social worker on the first or second visit. (to save yourself time in the future, get one extra copy of everything).

* Your Signature. Your social worker will need to do a criminal background check at the state level. She will also need to check with Child Protective Services to make sure you don't have any child abuse charges against you. In order to do this, she will need you to sign a release for her to check these resources.

* Physical and Bloodwork. You will need to have a physical taken at your doctor's office. You will also need a letter from your doctor, notarized stating you are free of Aids, tuberculosis, syphilis and all mental diseases.

* References. You will need to ask 3-5 of your friends and co-workers to write a reference letter

Questions You May Be Asked

* Family Questions. Where you were born, brothers and sisters, names and ages of parents, contact with siblings now that you are grown, do you live in same town as relatives.

* Marital Questions. How did you meet your spouse, when did you marry, how long have you been married, how do you solve differences between you, any biological children, how do they feel about adoption. Did you have to deal with infertility, did you have counseling to assist in infertility issues.

* Adoption Questions. What type of child are you looking for, does ethnic background matter, what age child do you want, will you accept a child with treatable problems, why do you want to adopt, what led you to Ukraine.

* Childcare Questions.Will you work after the adoption is finalized, who will provide childcare, who will take care of the child if something happens to you, what are your views of preschool .

* Education Questions. How much education have you had, favorite subjects, degrees you have acquired, how will you afford education for your child.

* Religious Questions. What religion are you, will you bring your child up in church, what values will you teach your child.

* Living Questions. What is your typical schedule each day, have you considered how your life will change once you add a child, is your neighborhood safe for child, do you have a backyard or play area for the child.

* Future Questions. What do you see in your child's future, if your child wants to contact his biological parents would you assist him.
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