August 4, 2006, Newsletter Issue #60: International Homestudies

Tip of the Week

Any adopting parent is required by all state laws to complete a homestudy before placement as part of the international adoption process. A homestudy gathers information about an adopting family such as their motivation to adopt, their social history, and their parenting plans. In some cases, homestudies may include some education about adoption.

The homestudy is written report that is developed over the course of several meetings, at least one of which takes place in the adopting coupleís home. At the home visit, the social worker performing the homestudy can assess the home for the living conditions and safety of a child. It is important for parents to remember, that the social worker isnít going to fail the homestudy because the parents or the home isnít perfect. The social worker just needs to see that the potential adopting couple will make good parents and have a home that is safe and appropriate for a child.

Each homestudy can be completed differently. Although each state has some guidelines on what must be covered in a homestudy, each agency has their own way of compiling the information. Some homestudies are completed by working only with the adopting family, while other agencies may have some group classes at the beginning or the end of the process.

All homestudies, regardless of individual agency guidelines, will require medical records, a criminal background check, background information on each adopting parent, and a safety assessment of the home. The completed homestudy will be a several page overview of the adopting couple. The homestudy will tell birthparents and adoption professionals who the people wanting to adopt are, why do they want to adopt, are they ready to adopt a child, and will they be able to care for the needs of a child.

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