Probably one of the most stressful events in an adoption is the home visit.
State agencies do home studies to make sure that the families they place adoptees into are stable, loving environments that are suitable for raising children. That’s enough to make anyone nervous.
However, it’s important to remember that nowhere in that description is the word “perfect.” The social worker doing the home visit isn’t going to check your cupboards to see if you have the saucers and cups properly lined up and nobody expects you to be perfect parents.
In fact, social workers will tell you what they look for when they visit a prospective adoptive parents’ home:
Are there smoke alarms on every floor? Is there a fire extinguisher in the kitchen?
You aren’t required to have the house baby-proofed when you don’t have a baby there, but social workers will look into basic safety issues.
Is there enough space for a child? Is there a spare bedroom set aside that will become the child’s room?
You also don’t have to have the child’s room set up. However, you can’t expect to put a child in an apartment with only one bedroom. It’s important that a child have a place to grow.
Do you have questions? Can you address the social worker honestly?
It wouldn’t be normal for prospective parents to not have questions, concerns or fears. It’s important to address them before you adopt — not after. The social worker wants to address those fears and educate you.
Is the household ready for a child?
If you’re always super neat and keep everything spotless, a social worker might worry that you will have trouble adapting to the disorder and mess a child can bring. Don’t be afraid to let your home look relaxed and “lived in.” You want it to be clean — but not so pristine that it seems artificial.
Adoption can be wonderful, but also very confusing and difficult. If you’re working with an attorney, make sure that you address your concerns early so that you know exactly what to expect from the home visit by the social workers in your area.
Source: Rainbowkids.com, “5 things to expect during a home study,” Suzanne Gee, accessed Dec. 28, 2017