We started our home study back in May 2016 and we were so nervous. It feels like a huge invasion of privacy and there is so much pressure to look good. Or at least that's what I thought. Really, they are just looking for a happy normal couple in a happy normal house, they aren't out to fail you. It's still an intimidating process but if you go into it with a good attitude and answer the questions honestly, that's the best you can do.
Here is a sampling of what was involved in our home study:
- A home visit, where they check the safety of your house and property
- Interviews as a couple where you talk about your childhood, your marriage, your current lifestyle, etc. They ask tons of questions here, a lot of them very personal.
- Interviews individually, where they once again ask about your childhood and yourself as a person
- Medical evaluation by your doctor
- Police checks and fingerprinting
- Financial information
- Five references, two from family and three from friends
- Child Welfare Agency record checks
- Lots of forms and questionnaires
The home study process is different for everyone, depending on who your practitioner is and whether you are doing it privately or publicly. We were fortunate that ours went smoothly and there weren't any major hiccups, which was a nice start to our adoption journey. It felt long while we were in it but looking back, it actually went pretty fast considering.
For anyone who is just starting down this road, my recommendation would be to find an adoption practitioner that you like and trust and to just be open and honest when answering questions. Ask for clarification on things if you don't understand and don't be afraid of learning as much as you can. You are paying for a service (if you're doing it privately) and you deserve to get the most out of it as you can.
The home study being completed means one more step closer to our baby. Every step of this journey will be worth it one day.