If you know you want to adopt a child, but you are unsure of how to start, you may want to consider the benefits of going through the foster care system. Many people have concerns that keep them from going in this direction.
As someone pursuing adoption of a stepchild, you want the process to go as smoothly as possible. Adopting your stepchild is a meaningful step in your life. It formalizes the relationship you already have, gives you legal rights and strengthens your family unit. Unfortunately, this does not mean the adoption process is free of complications and stresses.
Adoption is a big responsibility, and as such, there are a number of requirements and screenings prospective parents must satisfy in order to complete the process. One of the most important of these is the home study. As the name suggests, this procedure involves an official - usually a social worker or child welfare official - visiting your home to profile your lifestyle and home environment. Regardless of what kind of adoption you are initiating, this is a requirement, and you should know what to expect.