What’s expected if you already have children during the home study?
If you already have children, either 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 child how they are doing in school, what they like to do in school, favorite subjects, hobbies, in addition to how they get along with friends. The social worker will be very interested in learning how your child is rewarded, disciplined, and more so how your child feels about sharing their parents, toys and t.v. 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 home may submit a “reference letter”. This way an adult child can express their feelings, provide an overall opinion about their parent’s 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 enter a safe environment. The social worker is looking for a family that can comfortably accommodate a new family member, without financial burden. For parents and a home that can provide many years of happiness and fulfillment raising a child 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.
By Leslie Zindulka LCSW-R of Adoptiondoctors.com and Adoptioneducationclasses.com
Visit Leslie on the web at Adoptionsocialworkny.com