Adopting a child can be a long, stressful, frustrating process. One of the most important early steps is the home study. These studies, which are a required part of the adoption process, help adoption agencies learn more about the prospective parents and others in the home where the child would be living as well as about the home itself.
The home visit by a social worker is only one part of the overall home study. The entire study can take several months. The visit may last for just an hour. However, there may be more than one visit, depending on the circumstances.
Families usually don’t need to have a nursery or bedroom set up for the child or even have their home childproofed when the visit is conducted. The home doesn’t have to be spotless.
As one adoption counselor says, “I am not there to make sure they have the best house in the world. I am just here to report that everything is safe to bring a child home to.” She does say that she makes sure there are a sufficient number of smoke alarms and fire extinguishers and that there’s “a separate space where the child will sleep.”
During the home visit, the social worker will conduct interviews separately and jointly with the prospective parents and other family members. The adoption counselor recommends that families “be honest and open about who they are.”
The more you know about what to expect from a home visit and what the adoption agency expects to see in your home, the more at ease you can be. Your Arizona family law attorney can provide valuable guidance as you prepare for a home visit and as you go through the entire process.