If you’re just starting to explore adoption, you may have learned that the adoption home study is the first step on the adoption journey. In a nutshell, the adoption home study is a report about your family that evaluates the suitability of your home for an adopted child. Everyone adopting a child will need an approved home study.
The home study report is compiled through interviews with all members of the household, a visit to your home, and documentation you turn in as part of the process.
You might be wondering what the social worker will be looking for when they visit your home and what type of paperwork will be required as part of the home study. Are there checklists for these things? The answer is yes!
Home Study Hive has developed two downloadable checklists for the adoption home study: a home preparedness checklist and a checklist of paperwork often required as part of the adoption home study.
The home preparedness checklist includes making sure the home is generally clean and free from any obvious safety hazards. Any dangerous tools or equipment should be stored out of a child’s reach. The same is true for chemicals and medications. Guns will need to be stored safely, often with a trigger lock and in a gun safe. It’s important to have a safety plan for any bodies of water on the grounds of the home. You can download the full home preparedness checklist for the adoption home study here.
The paperwork checklist for the adoption home study includes financial documents, employment and salary verification, background checks (including FBI fingerprinting), medical appointments and corresponding documentation for all household members, and reference letters from family and friends. You can download the full paperwork checklist for the adoption home study here.
Adoption home study requirements vary by state, home study provider, and type of home study. In addition to the home study requirements for your state, each home study provider may have their own policies that go above and beyond the minimum state requirements. So checklists for the adoption home study will vary. Ask your home study provider for their checklists! In the meantime, Home Study Hive’s checklists will be a good starting point to help you get prepared.