One of the things prospective adoptive parents fear most is the home study. Technically, the home study is the entire process of adoption readiness including:
- Adoption education
- Health history and “well” checks
- Financial history
- Training and education
- Criminal background checks
- Personal history
- Personal interviews
- Home visit
It’s those last items– that big three– that strike fear in the hearts of prospective families. Ironically, it’s the same “big three” that most people will later identify as the most enjoyable and helpful parts of the process! I am here to demystify this part of the home study process for you!
It is simple, really. The adoption facilitator needs to know that your home is a safe place for a child, and moreover, the facilitator needs to know what type of preparation you need before placement. The personal history, personal interviews, and home visit pave the way for your adoption education.
Many people fear writing their personal narrative. While sometimes lengthy, it is actually quite easy because you will be writing in response to specific questions or prompts, such as “Describe your family life as you were growing up. Who was in the home with you? What were your responsibilities? How were you disciplined?”
While it does take some time to thoughtfully respond to the writing prompts, in the process something truly magical happens. You begin to see your life “from the outside.” You can better appreciate the adults who helped you as a child. You can identify methods of discipline that aren’t choices you will make. If you aren’t already a parent, you begin to get a picture of all that is involved in parenting. You start to see yourself, your life, and your accomplishments through new, less biased eyes.
In addition, the facilitator is gaining useful information about you. They are forming ideas about areas in which you may need more education or facilitation. Perhaps they will recommend books or classes on open adoption or trauma-informed care. They will get a chance to talk to children you already parent, and you will get to see yourself through your children’s eyes– a truly remarkable thing.
When the home study processes– especially the “big three”– are complete, you will be better prepared for adoption. You will have a stronger sense of yourself as a person and a parent. You’ll have a better idea of what adoption means to the adopted person and the adoptive family. You’ll be ready.
Best of luck on your journey!
Photo credit: Dreena T