As an Adoptive Parent Coordinator, I am often asked “what should I expect during the home study process.” The phrase “home study” is an intimidating one to some families, especially after experiencing years of infertility treatments, disappointments, and losses.
Although the home study experience entails gathering a lot of information, conducting interviews, and a home visit, it does not have to be a process filled with trepidation.
Think of it as one more step to growing your family!
To help, we have compiled a list of 5 common questions that will be asked by your social worker during your home study:
- What is your motivation to adopt? Have you experienced infertility or health issues prohibiting a pregnancy, or do you have a calling to grow your family through the beautiful process of adoption?
Knowing your motivation for adoption will help us to know better how to counsel and support you during this process.
The struggle of infertility is a difficult journey to endure. For those who have experienced that struggle, we want to make sure that you have been able to properly grieve and deal with this in a healthy manner. We know that you may not be completely over the grief of infertility. That is something that takes a very long time. But the adoption journey, although an amazing process, can be full of twists and turns, and many of them will be out of your control. It is important to feel that you are ready to begin such a journey.
If you feel called to adoption, remembering that calling, and what stirred your heart to start this process will help you through some of the difficult and trying times.
- Are both spouses on the same page regarding adopting? Are you both excited for the process, does one spouse have fears that he/she is not addressing with the other spouse?
This can be a difficult question to work through, but it is important that both spouses listen to each other’s individual concerns and feelings surrounding beginning the adoption process. It is necessary that both spouses are on the same page and equally have the desire to grow their family through adoption. If you find you are having a hard time sorting your differences, you can always discuss your concerns with a marriage counselor.
- What are your feelings and thoughts regarding Birth Parents, and their brave decision to choose adoption?
Every Birth Parent is different and has different reasons for choosing adoption for their child. This is a great talking point to discuss during the education portion of the home study.
- How do you plan to discuss adoption with your child?
During the home study, we will discuss being open and honest about adoption from day one. Adoption should be celebrated, and we will discuss many ideas on how and when to start the discussion with your child.
- What does your support system look like?
Look at those close to you and those who will be close to the child (family, friends, neighbors, etc.). It is important to have their support throughout the adoption process. It is also helpful to educate those in your support system on positive adoption language, so that they can educate others they encounter as well.
A home study is a necessary part of the adoption process, but it should not be feared!
If you have any questions regarding a home study, please contact our office at (727) 549-1416.