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What is involved in an adoption home study?

Adopting a child in Wisconsin is a process that can cause you a great deal of excitement and trepidation. One of the most important steps in the process, and therefore one that is most likely to cause you anxiety, is the home study. 

According to FindLaw, part of the purpose for the home study is ensure that you, as the prospective parent(s) are able to provide a safe and stable home. While home study requirements vary from state to state, each state is very serious about the role it plays in protecting children, and the investigation conducted in the home study helps determine if you are fit to raise an adoptive child.

However, the purpose of the home study is also for your benefit as the prospective parent(s). The home study allows the social worker or adoption agency representative to gather information about you that will help them to successfully match you with a child to adopt. In addition, the home study is an opportunity for the representative or social worker to help prepare you for the adoption. 

The home study varies somewhat from state to state but typically includes a background check, referral checks, an interview with you and your spouse or partner, if applicable, as well as reviewing your home life. Based on the results of the home study, the social worker or agency representative will then compile a report including information regarding your marital status, physical and mental health, criminal history, financial situation and career history, as well as your parental abilities and feelings about the adoption. 

While there may be some items in the report with which you disagree, you need not be apprehensive that the social worker is passing judgment on you. Those who conduct home studies are not out to prevent loving and capable parents from adopting and are therefore not expecting perfection from you. In many cases, rather than a disqualification, the home study is a diagnostic to identify areas where prospective parents need more education and counseling in order to be ready to welcome the newest member of their family. 

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.

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