After all my talk this month about adoption, you didn’t think I was done yet, right?! As we wrap up National Adoption Month, I wanted to share a few more posts about adoption. Don’t worry, I’ll still share about foster care and adoption throughout the rest of the year, but I promise, my focus will be back to sharing a little more variety in what I’m writing about!
Today I want to talk to you guys a little about preparing for your adoption/foster care home study. A home study occurs when a social worker comes to your home to evaluate you and the house. They check a pretty basic list of safety concerns in your home and then have an “interview” of sorts about your life, parenting plans, etc.
Growing up in a home where we actively lived by the standards of safety and protection the state put into place, it wasn’t until we were in the process of being licensed that I realized not all families had grown in this manner. Now, as a very close friend of mine begins her passage into adoption, it was brought to my attention again that saying “check the safety of your home” isn’t the clearest matter to explain what they’re looking for in a home study.
I put together a checklist for my friend to go through while prepping her home for their home study and I wanted to share it with you all. It’s printable! Remember these are the basics for the state of Massachusetts; every state has their own rules!
I also have few notes on this list! First, we like to buy the two in one fire and carbon monoxide alarms so the main rooms of each don’t need both hanging. Open areas, such as an open kitchen to dining room, are allowed to have a shared fire alarm. Check with your worker before hand about whether you need one in your garage or not if it’s attached to the home.
I have an emergency first aid kit set up here that you can always use to build your own. Mine is meant for a car use but it can always be used in the house. I like to have one like that in a condensed manner because it’s easier to grab than for home to search for hours for bandaids in our linen closet.
I do not know how the legalization of marijuana in Massachusetts will effect the “drug paraphernalia” aspect, however better safe than sorry in my honest opinion and have that conversation with your social worker.
Another part of the home study I find people stress out about is the interview. The interview is an in depth look into your life-your childhood, your health, your parenting hopes and goals…everything. Some questions are invasive, but it’s important to remember that they ask these things in order to protect the children they are entrusting you with. I do find that in my experience, they try to be delicate with some of the more personal and at times upsetting information. While I disclosed my diagnoses of PTSD with every worker, it wasn’t until we were finalizing our adoption anyone asked “Why” I had PTSD and even after answering, I was simply met with an “I am sorry” and it was over!
The advice I have for this is be precise, be informative and be honest! Adoption agencies are not looking for perfect parents…they’re looking for good ones.
If you have anything to add to this list, or advice for home studies, please add them in the comments!
Anyone out there waiting for your home study?