I am so nervous about the homestudy! What was yours like? How many references did you have to have? Any rules about pets? We have 7 cats, as I used to do animal rescue. I have never had any issues with the cats and my children, no one's even been scratched. My house is clean and honestly, they won't even know that there are seven cats here, only three of them appear when strangers are over.
Can you find out what the requirements are in advance, so you can make sure you meet them?
Our homestudy was relatively easy. We sat down and talked about other topics like discipline, routine, talking about adoption to our child, what we envisioned our child lifes would be like. It was a super discussion. We had 3 dogs at the time and she was okay with that. Then we showed her around our home and showed her the baby's room. So I wouldn;t worry about your animals per se. I think the social workers just want to get a feel for the environment in which you live in and also make sure it is safe. Good luck!
Do not stress about the hs. Nobody says "too many cats, DENIED". If there is anything that they are unhappy about they will let you know and together you can work out a solution that suits both of you.
KRISTI: I am soooo sorry for you. There is nothing like a SW on a power trip. At the time it must have been a little traumatising. Glad to hear you had some back up!
Kristi - sorry you had that bad experience. It blows my mind that you would be judged because you're "only" middle class. The majority is! Here they verified we had room for a dresser and a bed etc. but they certainly didn't expect us to have a huge home or be rolling in money. We rent a two bedroom townhouse, but as long as we had space for a bad and a dresser they didn't care.
We had to have 5 references... and 2 more for the update. Not too easy to find them for us, but we managed.
About the pets, we have two crazy dogs (like people a bit too much) and two cats, and they're not even mentioned in our home study... so it depends a lot on the agency, but problems due to pets are rare I think.
Kristi, ouch, that must have been traumatizing.
We have four cats and a small dog. We have never once been asked about shot records or really made any mention of them in the homestudy other than the fact that there are pets in the home. We are currently in the middle of our 6th adoption. The homestudy visit (in our experience) is really no big deal. Our worker comes, takes a look to make sure that the home is safe and enough space for a new baby and then we just talk for 45 mins or so. Just relax and be yourselves. Good luck!
We had 5 reference letters and then we had questons and autobiographies to complete before our sw came to the house. We cleaned and organized for weeks before she came - but no need. She did a quick walk through and asked if we did everything on the checklist. She didn't even ask if we had hunting guns in a locked case - which we did of course.
The homestudy was actually very pleasant. It was a nice chance for us to get to know our sw better with friendly conversation.
Good luck and don't worry. By the way, our sw said the one thing that gets more adoptive couples picked by birthparents is pets!
Sorry about not responding until now...I just didn't want to wreck the OP's thread being they were the one looking for support. ;)
Thank you all for your kind I said...traumatizing at the time, but in the end...we've been parents for almost 2 years now.
Yeah, during the time, it was rough...but that inconvenience that seemed huge back then is so minor now that we have the kids...I'd gladly do it again in the heartbeat to be able to adopt our kiddos!
ok i'm about to start my home study have called and all she told me up front was back ground check 2 page about my life fingerprints medical for me and child (already have the child for 6 years) but thats about it
so do they do check how much money i owe and what is the reference about any help would be great
Every homestudy is different.
We had to have one in Arizona for my son's step parent adoption (my husband adopted my son) just over a year ago.
(Ironic, I know, since we already all lived together :rolleyes: )
Anyway - full background check, finger prints, driving history and his DD214 from his military experience. We also had to talk about our faith, our education, our work life, our debts/income, our personal lives, our marriage, how we deal with conflict...all kinds of crazy things.
2 three hour meetings in our home - both together and seperate.
4 references - 2 family and 2 friends.
Then - when we finally got the study (4 mos later?) it needed LOTS of editing (for spelling errors, fact errors and misinformation).
In the end - we didn't have any problem...
I asked, during the process, why there were so many hoops for a step parent adoption - where the child and parent already live together... The SW said that it was the exact same process that couples/singles went thru adopting domestically...which kinda freaked me out...cuz we were never asked any medical information...
They asked a lot of questions...but it didn't seem as in depth as I'd expected...
The home study is a lot of work -
[*]Collecting documents
[*]Writing biographies
[*]Asking friends for references
[*]Going to get fingerprinted
[*]Getting physicals
But I think most people are approved.
Some reasons for not being approved might be:
[*]Social worker feels you are still yearning for a biological child
[*]When interviewed separately, social worker discovers that one of the parents is not supportive of the adoption
[*]Certain criminal history
[*]Negative references
[*]Serious or life-threatening illness
Social workers are looking for reasons to approve you not to reject you.
If you suffered infertility they will probe to find something that shows you have moved past it.
Not all criminal records are a concern. The important thing is not to lie.
If you have had a life-threatening illness you may require a special letter from your doctor stating you have a normal life expectancy for approval.
In our home study, the most work was in writing the biographies. Our social worker said that she had to brainstorm with the other social worker for some interview questions because ours was so complete. So I think that helped it go smoothly. We had 3 interviews total, one in the office, one at our house and the final one in the office where we were interviewed separately and together.
People get stressed out about the home visit but that is really nothing to worry about. I've heard of people doing home rennovations that did not raise any red flags, as long as the baby's room was finished.
We had our home visit on 11/1/2007. Why do I remember this? Well it was the day after Halloween. The night before my 3yo son ate lots of candy and was up 2 hours past his bedtime. (Nice planning Mom -- but we were having fun!) I had planned to arrive at the house early with my son and get him transitioned from daycare -- but couldn't because my car ran out of gas and I had to walk to the gas station for a refill (which fortunately was not too far away). I called my husband to get our son and we both ended up both arriving at the same time -- and the social worker was waiting for us. We tried to get our son to sit in the living room with us, but he proceeded to have a hysterical tantrum. I could barely hear her questions over the screaming. Also, we have 2 big dogs and when we went out to the back yard my puppy jumped up on the social worker. He is not aggressive -- he just wants attention. Anyway, not at all how I pictured it to go. But it was no big deal. The s/w kept telling me how cute our son is and commented on how well we handled his tantrum (I walked away from him and let him storm in the hall). I don't even think the pets were mentioned in the homestudy (can't remember).
In the final appointment I had come down with a terrible cold. I could not stop coughing. So on the advice of a friend I took some serious cough syrup before the meeting to supress the coughing. Well that worked, but I think I took too much. By the end of the interview I was feeling a bit animated. My husband drove separately and left after his interview was over. I realized after the interview that I was not OK to drive home and had to call him to come get me. I was totally drunk off the cough syrup.
So a out of control toddler and dog and coming to an interview drunk wasn't cause for me to get rejected. It's funny now, but not so much while we were in the process.
For fingerprinting, I work at a univ., so the police there did the livescan, which we need in CA. The city police can also do them here.
For our first homestudy, we had a pregnant (great. . .) SW who was actually pretty warm but also "by the book" and then we realized she didn't ask to see several things (locked meds, etc.) that she was supposed to, ha. When she did our post-placement visit, her dd was about 18 mos and ruled the roost. It was so funny to see that she had her mom and dad (dad came to take their dd for a walk during the interview) wrapped around her little finger. We live 5 hours from our agency, so they contract with SWs to do the home studies and post-placement followups.
For our 2nd homestudy for our 2nd adoption, the SW made an appt. with us and we weren't near as uptight this time. In fact, my favorite part was that she called the night before and gave my dh the time she'd be coming. He remembered wrong and told me 10 a.m. The SW arrived at 9, with me not yet in the shower and still in my nightgown, so funny -- well, not at the time. . . but it did break the ice and she saw me at my "best". He he.
Do try to be yourselves, as much as that is possible. susan
Arggh! I was signed in and typed a whole response and the system didn't take it, so now I'm trying again.
I am worried about the home study also. Of course, we're still filling out paperwork for the adoption agency.
Our PAT training is at the end of April, so I want to turn the paperwork in soon. We have 5 little dogs and 1 big dog (a lab), so that's been a concern, but it seems like for most people here on the boards who have several pets, it hasn't been a problem.
We have several small projects around the house that we need to get done. I get stressed out when I think about how much we have to do. Plus, I'm not a super house-cleaner, so I need to work on that.
Does anyone have any tips for trying to not get stressed out?
They don't expect Martha Stewart Clean - they expect tiddy and safe for kids....
I never saw a white glove...nor did our SW get down on her knees and inspect anything.
Thank God...I'm not filthy - but my house is 'happily lived in' - that's for sure...