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Old 04-22-2013, 03:34 PM
 
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After thinking about how the home study process has come up on this forum, I wondered what the federal government states about how home studies are conducted and what the purpose of one is. This is what the childwelfare.gov site says about The Adoption Home Study Process.

Since it can be an intimidating process for many, as it was for us, I thought I'd post some info for others to view who may be going through one or considering adoption or foster parenting for the first time. Of course, each state is different, but this site and the below publication offers some good information on what is required at the state and federal levels. Of course for private and international adoptions, other requirements may have to be met.

Home Study Resource - PDF

Feel free to share your experiences with the home study process, whether past or present; or if you will be having one in the future...for either domestic, international, or public agency situations.

Our experience was overall okay, time consuming at times, but pretty straightforward when I think back on it.
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Old 04-23-2013, 08:17 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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We had two homestudies for our three adoptions and I find it interesting that both agencies eventually lost their licenses for fraud. In the first case the agency and the woman who prepared the homestudy simply set up shop under a different name in a different state. In the 2nd case the agency created such horrible publicity for Florida and Georgia international adoptions that she eventually went out of business but not before getting kicked out of Guatemala.

I found both women to be strangely cold and aloof. maybe that was a protective characteristic but it alarmed me. I also felt like the homestudies were invasive. Of course they need to know as much as possible but did they need a list of our investments? I think income statement would have been enough. I know I was basically held for ransom while in VN and I think it was because of the information they had about our financial situation. We were very comfortable but certainly not wealthy but to the average Vietnamese it probably seemed so.
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Old 04-23-2013, 09:50 AM
 
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Jaded,

Except for the background checks (which in my state a friend of the court was also assigned to investigate the family) I can't tell much difference in what is listed today vs what was listed in the 1954 or 1962 article linked below.

Adoption History: Helen Fradkin, "Outline for Adoption Studies," 1954

Adoption History: Child Welfare League of America, Rating Sheet for Prospective Parents, 1962

It always amazes me how people think that adoptive parents weren't scrutinized in our era. It would be the same today - some homestudy providers are very ethical and do the due diligence and others just do it to make a profit.
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Old 04-23-2013, 10:31 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
We had two homestudies for our three adoptions and I find it interesting that both agencies eventually lost their licenses for fraud. In the first case the agency and the woman who prepared the homestudy simply set up shop under a different name in a different state. In the 2nd case the agency created such horrible publicity for Florida and Georgia international adoptions that she eventually went out of business but not before getting kicked out of Guatemala.

I found both women to be strangely cold and aloof. maybe that was a protective characteristic but it alarmed me. I also felt like the homestudies were invasive. Of course they need to know as much as possible but did they need a list of our investments? I think income statement would have been enough. I know I was basically held for ransom while in VN and I think it was because of the information they had about our financial situation. We were very comfortable but certainly not wealthy but to the average Vietnamese it probably seemed so.
Sounds bad. Thank goodness they lost their licenses and went out of business. I often wonder how agencies that are contracted by the state differ from the state itself. I too didn't feel comfortable about a lot of the financial disclosure questions, as you've stated, being comfortable and being wealthy mean different things to different people; but we weren't asked to list investments! That's a bit extreme.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:30 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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We have had two home studies, so far, and one adoption. (one adoption did not take place because the child became unavailable)

We liked one social worker more than the other. We also shopped around for social workers, ones that we thought understood us, and were personable.
Additionally, we shopped at to cost.

This time, we are doing the same thing.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:34 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
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sheena brings up a very important point. I don't think prospective adoptive parents have to use the agency's in house social worker but of course they don't tell you that. It is smart to be comfortable with the person doing the home study and, as far as I know, it is OK to find your own to do the home study.
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Old 04-24-2013, 01:57 PM
 
Location: Chicago area
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I'm just curious, since home studies can be done by private agencies could a couple who don't pass the home study turn around and try again with another agency or another state?
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:36 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
I'm just curious, since home studies can be done by private agencies could a couple who don't pass the home study turn around and try again with another agency or another state?
I have no idea. Does anyone know the answer to this?
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Old 04-24-2013, 10:47 PM
 
Location: The New England part of Ohio
18,656 posts, read 23,235,665 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
sheena brings up a very important point. I don't think prospective adoptive parents have to use the agency's in house social worker but of course they don't tell you that. It is smart to be comfortable with the person doing the home study and, as far as I know, it is OK to find your own to do the home study.
It is smart to shop around! Just as I switched OB-Gyns early in my pregnancy, it is important to realize that you are in control more than not, and you have the right to act as a consumer of adoption services.

After infertility, many prospective parents feel disembowelment.(obviously not all adoptive parents have experienced infertility, but a good many of us have)

With adoption, you will have a child at the end of this process. The uncertainty of infertility treatments is over. It is important that PAPS remember that they are in control. Don't like your adoption agency? Switch.

Is your social worker pushing a type of adoption that you are not interested in? BAIL!

People in adoption are not gods. They are people with personal experiences and proclivities that may or may not jive with yours. It is always wise to advocate for you own self interest, in this case, probably the most important choices you will ever make - hiring people who will help you to build your family.

Chose wisely.
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Old 04-25-2013, 10:07 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lizita View Post
I'm just curious, since home studies can be done by private agencies could a couple who don't pass the home study turn around and try again with another agency or another state?
I have heard many adoptive parents note that one of the questions on the homestudy is whether they have had a homestudy before or been denied a homestudy.

Alternately, I have read where a prospective parent feels like the Social Worker is biased against them and have read other adoptive parents tell them to stop the process/withdraw so that it does not count against them with another homestudy / agency.

I think it boils down to ethics, state licensing requirements for homestudy providers, and whether you are shopping for a homestudy agency that will pass you based on word of mouth references.

Washington state identified the homestudy shopping as one of the concerns in the process in their study on abused adoptees. They recommended that every homestudy started needed to be registered with the court - whether it was finished or stoped, approved or denied - to prevent someone who shouldn't be approved - from shopping for someone to approve them.
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