Hopeful adoptive parents have many questions when they begin the adoption process. Many who work with an agency may wonder what qualities the agency is looking for when it comes to placing a child for adoption. While there is no finite guide from agency to agency, most adoption agencies tend to look for the same group of qualities. All of the following items are part of a successful home study required by most states to adopt. Learn more about what adoption agencies look for in parents to see if you’re a good candidate.
Stable Home Environment
Adopted children, whether newborn or older, usually have only experienced an unstable environment with multiple caretakers. Your adoption agency wants to see that your home is not only safe physically but emotionally as well. A stable home environment includes adequate room for the child, a warm home, and no dangerous areas.
Another part of a stable home environment is having a plan of action when you cannot physically care for the child. If both parents work outside of the home, you’ll need to plan who will care for the child. While you may not know exactly when the child is arriving, it is important to surround the child with caregivers who understand adoption and how it can be different.
The home study process is quite detailed and includes a thorough overview of your finances. You’ll need to report your assets as well as any debts that you have as a family. Adoption agencies also will require that you have a stable income to provide for the child. This is usually showing that you make enough money to provide basic care and that you can hold down a job for a longer period of time. By no means do you need to be wealthy to adopt. A home study usually has a minimum amount of income required in relation to the number of people in the household and the poverty level.
Support of Friends and Family
You may be surprised to learn that adoption agencies are interested in both your qualities as well as those of your close family and friends. Many home studies require that you produce reference letters from friends in your life who can recommend you as parents. There are always battles when it comes to adopting a child, either immediately or down the road. It is important to have friends and family who support your choice to adopt and treat the child well and can care for them when you need a break.
Desire to Parent
Many hopeful adoptive parents first visit an adoption agency after they have walked through years of infertility and loss. Adoption agencies want to know how much you want to parent and share your life with a child. The adoption journey can be scary, in that you don’t know how it will end, but it is important to be vulnerable and hopeful throughout the process. Show your adoption agency that your heart is open to adopt a child that isn’t your biological child.
We know that it can be hard to put yourself out there when meeting with an adoption agency. However, it is essential to understand that the agency, and the home study process, are there to ensure that the best is done for the child. Preparing for your home study, and turning in the paperwork, will help show the adoption agency that you are eager parents who can’t wait to bring home a child.