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Adoption Home Study

An adoption home study is a part of the adoption process and all prospective adoptive parents have to go through this study. This is in reality an application for prospective adoption. The home study essentially collects all information pertaining to the couple who is planning to adopt.

The study:

• Questions the reason why couple wants to adopt
• Whether they have sincere desire and commitment for the process.
• Educates and informs them about adoption.
• Evaluates their suitability for adoption.

Various agencies, states and countries have different procedures to detect the above mentioned criteria. These can include interviews with adoptive parents, training them, visits by social worker, health statements validating the health of both adoptive parents, statement of incomes, autobiographical statements, personal references and background checks which includes”

• Review of federal, state and local criminal record.
• Charges of child abuse against any adult in family.
• Fingerprint checks.

Home study is a very important step if you want to adopt. Failing this is catastrophic since no agency allows adoption to such parents. Hence the anxiety levels of parents undergoing home study are relatively high. They do not want to be found to be imperfect in any way. Though adoptive parents across all backgrounds and ethnicities are considered and approved, there are certain rules and laws which regulate adoption procedure in the country. These mainly deal with safety and welfare of adopted children.

The federal laws that are in place to ensure that parents are indeed eligible for adoption are:

• Under the Adoption and Safe Families Act and Title IV-E of Social Security Act restricts parents with felony conviction for neglect and child abuse, spousal abuse, violent crime or crime against children from adopting or fostering children.

• Parents are not allowed to adopt if they have been convicted for felony such as assault, drug related offenses and battery. Such people are not allowed to foster care too.

• According to Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act, all adults in a prospective adoptive home and foster care homes for a child should undergo criminal background checks.

• Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act (2006) mandate prospective parents to undergo fingerprints checking against national registries. They also should have their names checked in registers of child abuse offenders.

There are instances where after home study a particular couple is denied adoption privilege and there are many reasons for this. During home study if criminal record, history of substance abuse, child abuse etc is revealed, parents are automatically banned from resorting to adoption procedures.

Sometimes the subjective reasons for going for adoption, stability of marriage of couple, their health etc pose hindrances in being considered as eligible adoptive parents. The denial can be appealed and for this legal representation from experienced adoption lawyers are mandatory.