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The Home Study Process for Adoptive Parents

For many parents hoping to adopt, the home study process may seem intimidating. But fear not! Although it may seem daunting, home studies are a critical first part of the adoption process. They are designed to make certain the baby will end up in a loving environment. Before proceeding with adoption, the state must corroborate any claims that your family is prepared for a new member.

Everyone wants to ensure the best possible outcome for the child. The home study process for adoptive parents eliminates doubts regarding the child’s safety. It guarantees that the child will be placed in a happy home.

Step 1: Recognizing the Law

When considering adoption, most prospective adoptive parents are fueled by exhilaration and excitement. Your mind is occupied by daydreams of your child: cradling a baby in your arms, having tea parties with your toddler, or teaching your teenager how to drive. It’s important to keep these dreams alive. Nevertheless, your eagerness to adopt may prevent you from acknowledging the importance of playing by the rules. No matter how enthusiastic you are, you can’t skip the paperwork. Home studies are federal law and cannot be ignored.

Still think the home study process isn’t for you? Home studies are required for virtually every single type of adoption. Fortunately, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma provides methodical home studies for domestic adoptions. These home studies are conducted with caution and vigilance, triple checking that your home is suitable for a new baby. Once you accept the utter significance of this inspection, the faster you can wrap up the administrative requirements and meet your new child.

Step 2: Choosing an Agency

To make your home study process less formidable, take it one step at a time. The first step is crucial; starting with an agency in mind will only make it easier on you. When you decide on an agency, you can calculate the home study requirements that apply to you. Some adoptive parents make the mistake of immediately launching into a random home study. Most times, they end up in unbelievably frustrating scenario: after filling out endless documents, going through multiple interviews, and completing a time consuming home study, they are rejected. This refusal is often because their specific home study doesn’t match up with their agency or state’s prerequisites. To avoid wasting precious time or money, make sure to start by picking an agency.

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma charges $1100 for a domestic home study. The home study through us is secure and thorough. It’s promised to work in any state with an Adoption Choices Agency — Colorado, Nevada, New York, and more.

Step 3: The Application 

Before your home study, you must first fill out an application for the agency. This application asks essential questions in an attempt to envision your home. It also aims to get a grasp on your personality; or more importantly, whether you are a good candidate for adoption. The application asks a variety of questions, so make sure to give the agency a genuine understanding of who you are. You are asked about your personal background, as well as your family history. The agency also hopes to weed out unwanted applicants: those who are mentally or financially ill prepared to protect a child.

Finally, the application poses open ended questions that gage your commitment to the child. Why did you decide to adopt? How will you brace yourself for future issues with your child? Do not fret — you don’t have to be perfect. The agency just wants to know if you’re ready for parenthood, and whether or not you’ll be completely and unconditionally dedicated to your child’s well-being.

To fully comprehend your persona, the application goes in depth with an autobiographical sketch. These questions prompt you to exhibit an intimate side of yourself — everything from your childhood to your relationships to your religious beliefs. The agency doesn’t just want a two dimensional portrait of you. Instead, they want to extensively examine every aspect of who you are. Furthermore, they want to certify that you’re ready for the next chapter in your life. Are you serious about adoption? Can you accept both the joy and the difficulties that comes along with this process? Are you truly prepared for your entire life to change? If you answered yes to all of these questions, you’re ready for the next step.

Step 4: Background Check

Background checks verify that you’re in good standing with the federal government. As long as you’re a law-abiding citizen, you have nothing to fear. You will need to submit FBI fingerprints, as well as undergo an inspection from the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation. In some adoptions, the agency confirms the child’s safety through CANIS — the Child Abuse and Neglect Information System Search. Additionally, the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act was signed into law in 2006. By implementing an organized national registration for sex offenders, this act protects vulnerable children by preventing abuse before it happens. Checking for child abuse is a key component of the adoption process, and adoption agencies across America are committed to safeguarding any child from harm.

Step 5: Your Health 

To take care of a child, you must first be capable enough to take care of yourself. It’s hard to keep up with any kid’s boundless energy, not to mention supervising a rambunctious toddler! A doctor will be able to check if you’re physically competent to continue with the adoption process. Moreover, your mental health cannot be overlooked. As they grow, your child may rely on you for support with their emotional problems. Any young kid faces school bullies and insecurities. Adopted children sometimes face even more adversity, especially when coping with their past. Through any hardship they encounter, you must be there to guide them through the pain. However, you can only perform your parental duties if you’re in a good headspace to do so. Your mental stability is just as important as your physical health, if not more so.

Step 6: Your Training

Until now, you may think that the purpose of the adoption process is for the agency to learn about you. That’s only half of it! In reality, you must also learn new things. Each potential parent must complete mandatory online training and acquire the knowledge it takes to handle an adopted child. This may seem overwhelming, but don’t be frightened. Online adoption training teaches you the expertise you need to raise your child. It covers a number of topics: everything from a child’s potential attachment issues to medical risks for domestic adoptions. Most prospective parents are also required to master CPR. Just in case you’re ever faced with an emergency situation, you will know how to stay calm and collected and avoid any disasters.

If you’re adopting through Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, you must also read an inspiring book: Bridges Out of Poverty. This novel gives you the tools you need to connect with your child’s birth parents, as well as gain a deeper empathy for your child.

These skills are all necessary for any adoptive parent, and both you and your child will benefit greatly as you apply what you learn to your ever-evolving relationship.

Step 7: Recommendations 

In most occasions, you won’t be the only one looking out for your child. Your child will be welcomed into a whole new community — friends, family, colleagues, and even neighbors will have to adjust to someone new entering their life. That’s why recommendations are so important. Sometimes, loved ones know you better than you know yourself. The people close to you can vouch for your kindness, compassion, and capabilities. Adoption Choices of Oklahoma asks for three reference letters from (non-related) members of your inner circle. These letters describe you from a fresh, candid perspective, and they help the agency’s evaluation.

Step 8: Post Placement

Post placement is a specific period of time: from when a child is placed with their prospective parents to when the adoption is finalized. During this time, caseworkers will contact your family and reports will be conducted on the well-being of the child. This final step concludes that everything’s perfect for you to accept the child as a permanent member of your family.

Don’t Panic! 

At first, the home study process may seem terrifying. But when you take a step back, you realize that it’s only eight simple steps. Don’t forget that adoption agents are there to help. Adoption Choices of Oklahoma prides itself on being non-judgmental. The home study can be a learning experience; together, the caseworker and adoptive family can make the home an admirable and pleasant place for the child grow up. When all is said and done, the agency wants nothing more than to give the children what they deserve: a loving family, a positive environment, and a place that they feel proud to call their home.

Adoption Choices of Oklahoma

If you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma. You may visit our website here or call 405-794-7500 (Oklahoma City) or 918-982-6220 (Tulsa).

Support Adoption Choices

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Kenneal Patterson

Kenneal Patterson is a sophomore at Northeastern University in Boston. She is currently studying Journalism and Political Science, with a minor in Global Health. She is honored to work with Adoption Choices, and hopes that her journalism will inspire others to be more empathetic and kind. She thinks that writing can convey important messages of hope and love, and wants to share these messages with others.

Kenneal spends her summers at home in Golden, Colorado, with her many cats and dogs. She is eternally grateful to those who read her work!

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