You have longed for children, but something has prevented you from having any of your own. You have likely given thoughtful consideration to the possibility of welcoming a child through adoption. Adoption allows you to provide a loving home for a child while filling your own heart with joy.
The adoption process is necessarily complicated. It is essential that adoption agencies carefully screen applicants to avoid placing a child in a home where he or she would suffer harm. While your reason tells you this is not personal, it may feel very personal when adoption agents schedule a visit—or series of visits—to your home. Knowing what to expect may alleviate some of the stress these visits can bring.
What are they looking for?
A home study is a crucial element of the adoption process. You will want to avoid focusing on insignificant matters and prepare yourself for what is coming. For example, it is better to present a warm and loving home even if it has a little clutter. More important matters will concern the agents, such as these:
- Your upbringing, including your family history, your relationship with your own parents and your child-rearing philosophies
- Your criminal background, including any felonies or drug-related crimes on the records of you or anyone living in your home
- Your health, including your age, any communicable diseases you may have or the presence of any health conditions that may impact your ability to take care of the child
- Your finances, which do not have to demonstrate great wealth but rather an adequate income and responsibility managing your debts
- The responses of any personal references you submit to the agency
Perhaps the most critical part of the home study is the interview. In fact, the agency may request several interviews in which they will review your application with you, discuss any issues that come up and get a feel for the atmosphere of your home. You will take your visitor on a tour of the home, especially the child’s room. As difficult as it may be, it will be good for you to seem relaxed and comfortable, showing your true personality and good humor.
Of course, this is not a joking matter, and the result of your home study can affect your chances of adopting a child. You may find it reassuring to enlist the services of a skilled North Dakota family law attorney who can help you through the complex process.