Being subjected to a home study as part of a South Carolina adoption can be stressful. Some adoptive parents take the home study in stride, while others are uncomfortable at the invasion of their privacy, and some feel like their whole life is under a microscope. However, home studies are a very important part of the adoption process.
The purpose of a home study is to ensure that the environment that the child will be entering is safe and clean, and that you will be able to provide a stable and loving environment for the child. In addition to the living situation that the child will enter, the adoptive parents’ lives are considered as well.
While adopted children may share rooms with other children, they should have their own beds to sleep in, and their own space to keep their things, except for children under the age of one, who may sleep with an adult if required. Your home inspector is trying to make a determination as to whether you will be able to provide the stable home that your adopted child will need.
What Is A Home Study?
An adoption agency investigator who has been certified by the state’s Department of Social Services conducts a home study. Because the safety of the adopted child is paramount, the adoptive home will be visited by a number of inspectors to ensure the safety and cleanliness of the home.
Preparing For A Home Study
The duration of a home study can be quite long (it typically takes 2 to 3 months to complete) and the results of your home study will be considered valid or current for a period of 6 months. This is often the longest part of an adoption. There are some things that adoptive parents can do ahead of time to get the process started. Before your home study, it is helpful if adoptive parents:
- Acquire written references concerning their good character and ability to be good adoptive parents. These letters can be from friends, neighbors, employers and the like.
- Prepare to provide important documentation concerning their vitals, and the vitals of anyone else living in the adoptive home (e.g., birth certificates, marriage certificates, divorce decrees, etc.), medical reports from a doctor indicating their state of health and the state of health of any other adult over the age of 18 in the home,
- Prepare to provide various financial documents demonstrating their income, tax returns, proof of insurance, etc.
Contact A South Carolina Adoption Attorney
If you are considering adoption, and are ready to start the process, you can rest assured that the home study portion of the adoption process is nothing to be overly concerned about. If you are serious about adding a child to your family, there is a strong likelihood that your home will provide a safe and loving environment. The experienced South Carolina adoption attorneys at McCoy & Stokes, LLC are ready and available to assist you in making a new addition to your family.