Spring Cleaning, How to Prepare Your Home for an Adoption Home Visit
Considering adoption? The following insight is posted on www.onetruegift.com and offers a comprehensive overview of the home visit process. It is important to know that your case worker understands that they are visiting an operating home and perfection is not what they expect to find. Rather, safety and security for a child will be the lens in which they are viewing your home.
In Rhode Island, a home study is the first step in the adoption process. Essentially, a home study is performed to ensure that you would be capable and appropriate parents to an adopted child. Requirements of a typical home study in Rhode Island are as follows:
During these visits, case workers will be looking at the physical state of your home to ensure it is an appropriate environment for children. Having your home perfect is not essential – simple cleanliness and sanitation are most important as is insuring that the home meets Rhode Island state housing codes, i.e. smoke detectors, safety railings, fences around pools, etc.
These typically take place in the home and usually during the home visits. The home study provider will meet with each individual living in the home to assess how well a new child will be received and accepted into the family. The interviews can be lengthy and involved as you will be asked about your background, how you were raised, hobbies, and numerous other questions focused on assessing each individual. Additionally, you will be asked to provide personal references that will be contacted and interviewed as well.
When meeting with your home study provider, some of the discussion will focus on your adoption goals, specifically; the race, age, gender, etc. of the child you are hoping to adopt. If you are open to a child requiring special needs — you and your family’s abilities to raise a child requiring these needs will be assessed as well. Your final home study will specifically state the characteristics of a child you are qualified to adopt. If you want to change these traits after your home study has been completed, you will be required to update your home study to verify that you are qualified. Dependent on the circumstances, a simple discussion with your home study provider will suffice for the documentation to be updated – other times; the social worker may deem it necessary to include additional steps or visits.
Rhode Island requires that a criminal background investigation be performed. Know that if you have a past history, it does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to qualify for adoption. Typically, additional documentation and statements can be provided that will suffice any necessary requirements.
Rhode Island further requires that each prospective adoptive family provide financial information and background. Your wealth is not important, however; your financial security and ability to be fiscally stable is. Tax returns, financial statements, pay stubs and income verifications are a few of the documents that may be requested during the home study process.
Medical histories, both physical and mental will also be required. Often this will require a current physical and medical statement from the family doctor be provided by both potential adoptees. Existing health conditions do not necessarily prohibit you from adoption but will still need to be noted by your physician with a statement that the condition is treatable under a doctor’s supervision.
Lastly, in 2006 the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act – a federal statute, was signed into law. Also known as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act, this law allowed for the creation of a national sex offender registry. Many states are still in the process of integrating compliance with this law. As part of the home study process, you will be required to submit to a sex offender registry search.
Once everything is completed and compiled, the home study provider will assemble the final home study report. Your completed home study will typically be required to initiate any process with an adoption agency.
For questions on adoption, please contact us. We can help advise you through the process and connect you with a registered Home Visit provider.