How to Write A Letter of Reference For Your Friend’s Home Study

Be honest, be kind, be timely.

Ellen Haws September 23, 2017
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Congratulations!  The friend who has asked you to help in their adoption process truly loves and trusts you. Many people look their whole lives for friends they can love and trust.  How lucky we are to be blessed with that kind of a friendship!

That said, writing a home study reference letter for your friend’s adoption paperwork can seem daunting. What do I say? How much weight does this hold? Could I make or break my friend’s adoption future? If this was a movie, this is where they’d insert tense music. Okay, deep breathe with me. We got this! Let’s do this ride together and hopefully answer a few questions as we go.

Some reference letters have a form or questions for you to complete.  This is nice because it gives you a good guideline to follow in regards to what the judge is looking for. If so, answer your questions as truthfully as possible.

Share stories and details about your friends. Sharing a story will not only allow you to talk about the person’s character but also show the depth of your relationship. Keep the information upbeat and helpful. One of the questions the hopefully adoptive parents answer when completing their paperwork is about their community and family that will be in the child’s life. A good reference letter will speak to not only your friend’s character, but by your example and words it will allow the judge to see the type of people who will be in the child’s life.

If nothing is provided, I would suggest studying up on character reference letters. Many resources are available on the internet.  A simple Google search can provide templates and samples of character reference letters. Speak to qualities that you believe show how your friends would parent. Again, it is important to be as truthful and genuine as possible when writing your letter. Keep it real. Don’t forget that no one is perfect. I’m not saying you should provide a list of negative traits, but be realistic.

Reference letters are an important part of adoption paperwork. It helps show how others perceive the individuals applying to adopt. Be honest, be kind, be timely. Make sure to complete and mail in the allotted time window. Take your chance to brag on your friend and your friendship. Completing a great character reference letter is the best way to show your support for your friend and the adoption journey they have begun.

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Ellen Haws

Ellen Haws is a writer and stay-at-home momster to two boys. She is an advocate for special needs individuals and special needs adoption. She created and is administrator of a thriving Facebook group that promotes and hosts events for special needs individuals and their families in Arizona. Once her hausfrau duties are finished, Ellen can be found creating sarcastic cross stitch art for her loved ones.


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