The adoption process is quite lengthy and requires lots of preparation in order for you to be ready to immediately care for your new child. A home study is one step of many in the adoption process. The purpose of a home study is to ensure that you and your spouse are good potential parents who can provide a child with a safe and happy home. The home study is more than just a house inspection. The inspector will also spend time interviewing both parents to gauge their character and parenting ability. This part of the adoption process can be extremely nerve-wracking but is also the part of adoption that you have the most control over.
What Should I Bring to My Home Study?
Home studies vary depending on the type of adoption that you and your spouse decide is best. However, the primary goal and document requirements remain fairly consistent. Home studies often take longer than a single visit, sometimes taking months to fully complete. The best way to reduce the amount of time spent in the home inspection is to educate yourself on the process and have the necessary documents in hand. These can include:
- Certified copies of birth certificates;
- Adoption decrees for any other adopted children;
- A marriage certificate;
- Death certificates of former spouses;
- Divorce papers for you and your spouse;
- Employment and income verification;
- Proof of life and health insurance;
- A list of assets;
- Debt information; and
- Mortgage or rent information.
The interview also requires physical exam results as well as a public health and fire inspection for your home. While the paperwork may seem daunting, it is crucial that you bring multiple copies of each form to avoid scheduling additional appointments.
How do Home Studies Differ?
The home study process changes slightly depending on the type of adoption you and your spouse decide upon. International adoptions differ based on the country you are working with, which is why it is important to find a home study that covers the country’s requirements. An international home study is valid for one year from the date it is approved, which can be problematic if delays occur. Additional requirements may include a notarized letter from your city’s police department stating that you are a good citizen as well as 10 or more hours of education training. Foster care and domestic adoption home studies are dependent upon your county or state regulations. All of the home studies require a safety check to ensure that your home has enough room to adequately house another individual.
Contact an Arlington Heights Adoption Attorney
The best way to be prepared for the adoption home inspection is to hire an experienced adoption attorney. Without proper legal guidance, it can be easy to get lost in the details of the process. At A. Traub & Associates, we use our many years of combined experience to help you prepare for each step of the adoption process. If you are considering adoption, contact our Illinois adoption lawyers at 630-426-0196 for a free consultation.