Deciding to adopt a new member into the family is a big decision. The state takes great care to place adopted children with families who can provide them with love, care, and stability. Because of this, many adopting families worry about the home study, which is one of the key steps in the adoption process. Knowing what to expect during a home study can help adopting families handle this crucial step with confidence.
Basic requirements for adoption
In New York, people who want to adopt children must be at least 21 years old, in good health, have a source of income, and live in a safe, spacious home that is ready for a child. The adoption process then begins by finding an adoption agency and applying for adoption.
The home study process
A caseworker from the adoption agency will perform training sessions, interviews, and background checks as part of the home study. Typically, the process starts four months after submitting an adoption application.
Through training sessions, potential parents can acquire practical knowledge and skills and learn about the challenges they might face. Meanwhile, interviewers will assess their adoption readiness, parenting style, and personality.
Additionally, prospective parents can expect multiple home visits from the caseworker. This step is necessary to review whether their living situation is safe for a child. Other people living in the home will also have to go through interviews.
The agency may deny adoption if the prospective parent or anyone in the household has a criminal history involving:
- Child abuse or neglect
- Spousal abuse
- Criminal acts against a child
Home studies can be uncomfortable, but it is important to remember caseworkers are still human and are not looking for perfection. The caseworker also wants the adoption to go well, but they must ensure the family is ready.
The home study ends once the caseworker completes their report on the family and the agency decides whether to approve or deny the adoption. Despite the long and complicated process, approved parents can finally look forward to meeting their child and finishing the adoption process once it is over.