If you already have children (biological, adopted, or both), they will be included in the home study process. Their involvement will vary based on their age, but all children will need to meet the social worker. Children’s input is usually quite important in the overall assessment of the prospective adoptive individual and or couple.
For children who are young and non-verbal, the social worker will want to meet them and see how you interact. They will ask you questions about your child’s developmental milestones, immunization records, and overall health. An older child might be asked to share, draw pictures, or even write a statement describing their feelings about having a new sibling. For school-age children, the social worker will ask you and your children about how they are doing in school, what they like to do in school, what their favorite subjects and hobbies are, and about how they get along with their friends. The social worker will be very interested in learning how your child is rewarded, disciplined. Even more, the social worker will be interested in how your child feels about sharing their parents, toys, and TV remote control.
Teenagers and adult children are also an important part of the home study process. A new sibling means sharing time and attention. This age group’s feelings are very much considered. A social worker is looking for the teen to have a positive reaction towards adoption. Any adult living in your household will need to be present for the home study interview. Adult children who no longer reside at the home may submit a “reference letter.” This way an adult child can express their feelings, provide an overall opinion about their parents’ ability to parent, and give a picture of family life.
Even though the process may seem lengthy or invasive, it is necessary to ensure that a child is placed in a loving, secure home. The purpose is to make sure a child enters a safe environment. The social worker is looking for a family that can comfortably accommodate a new family member without financial burden. They look for parents and a home that can provide many years of happiness and fulfillment for the child they raise into adulthood. The social worker wants to make sure that the newly adopted child will be wanted and accepted by everyone in the family right from the start.