Once you’ve chosen to pursue a private adoption in Florida, you must complete an adoption home study in order to be considered as a prospective adoptive family. But many families who are hoping to adopt have little to no idea what the home study process actually entails. So, let’s break it down.
Basically, the adoption home study is a thorough investigation of your life, your family, and your home. This process determines whether or not you are qualified or suited to become adoptive parents. The resulting assessment is made using various methods, and is completed by a qualified home study provider, licensed in the state of Florida. Once complete, the home study is valid for one calendar year. In order to be able to complete a private adoption in Florida, a favorable home study must be reached and valid at the time of the placement.
There are a handful of home study agencies that are licensed to complete an adoption home study. Once you contact the agency you’ve chosen and indicate to them that you’re pursuing a private adoption in Florida, they will provide you with a checklist of requirements for the home study. On the whole, the requirements are similar among all agencies, but they do vary as each agency is unique.
Below are some of the most common home study requirements for private adoption in Florida.
- Assessment of the physical environment of the home
- Affidavit of good moral character
- Background checks – central abuse registry and criminal records
- Interview with the potential adoptive parents
- Determination of financial security
- Documentation of counseling + education on adoptive parenting
- Documentation that information on support services are available/have been provided
- Documentation providing adult medical history and child medical history
- References from employers, friends, family members, and/or neighbors
- Signed acknowledgment of receipt of disclosure for each parent
- Signed documents acknowledging guardianship responsibilities
In addition to these requirements, an agency may also explore other issues during a home study. Below are some examples of other topics that may be covered when completing a home study for private adoption in Florida.
- Ability to provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs.
- Thoughts about parenting an adopted child
- Family dynamics, child-rearing practices, experiences, and beliefs
- Pets or other family members living in the home
- The environment of community or neighborhood in which you reside
As experienced adoption attorneys who have helped countless families navigate private adoption in Florida, we understand that the home study process can feel a bit intrusive. But that’s what it’s intended to do, and there’s a good reason for this: we care about you, we care about the child, and we want what is best for everyone. The adoption home study ensures that you are well prepared and able to adopt a child, and that the child will be a good fit for your family. These are appropriate concerns for everyone involved in an adoption, but they’re especially critical for the well-being of the child.
If you’re interested in learning more about private adoption in Florida, or how to complete an adoption home study, the adoption attorneys at The Law Offices of Berkowitz & White PLLC can help. We would be happy to answer any questions about adoption that you may have, or to provide you with a list of our preferred home study agencies
Give us a call today at (561) 841-9830 or send us a message.