Adoptive Parents: Taking the First Steps
Before you can be considered as prospective adoptive parents, you must complete a home study. A home study determines the suitability of the intended adoptive parents by assessing the various aspects of your home in regard to an adoption. A qualified Home Study Provider who is licensed in the state of Florida must complete the home study, and the study is valid for one year after the date after its completion. A child cannot be placed in a home until a favorable home study is reached.
There are numerous agencies in the state of Florida that are licensed to complete a home study. Once you have chosen your agency and contacted them, the agency will provide you with a checklist of requirements. Some requirements are the same on every agency’s checklist, but other requirements are different or not as common. Below you will find a list of requirements that are on almost every agency’s checklist.
A home study must include:
- An interview with the potential adoptive parents
- Record checks of the central abuse registry and criminal records check
- An assessment of the physical environment of the home
- Determination of the financial security of the intended adoptive parents
- Documentation of counseling and education on adoptive parenting
- Documentation that information on support services are available and have been provided to the potential parents
- Signed acknowledgment of receipt of disclosure for each parent
- Documentation providing adult medical history and child medical history
- Affidavit of Good Moral Character
- Signed documents acknowledging guardianship responsibilities
- References from employers, friends, family members, and/or neighbors
In addition to these requirements, an agency may also explore other issues during a home study. For example, an agency might be interested in your ability to provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs. What are your thoughts about parenting an adopted child? Would you able to make a commitment to a child placed in your home? An agency might also investigate your family’s child-rearing practices, experiences, and beliefs. Do you have pets in your home? What are the dynamics of your family? Can you describe your community? These are additional topics that may be addressed during the adoption study to determine if you are appropriate prospective parent.
Yes, we know – a home study is a thorough investigation of your life, family, and home. However, there is a good reason for this rigorous research: we care about you, we care about the child, and we want what is best for everyone. A home study ensures the agency as well as your adoption entity that you are well and able to adopt a child. Furthermore, a home study ensures that your child will be a good fit for your family, which is an appropriate concern for anyone in any adoption. Contact me for a list of her preferred home study agencies who have completed numerous studies for her in the past.
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