Adoption

Home Study Services Available For Adoption 

You have been thinking about adopting or you are beginning the process of adopting a child.  It seems like a daunting task and indeed it can be.  There are many steps to take, information that must be collected and filed.  In the end your reward as an adoptive parent will far outweigh the struggles.  Global Therapy can help.  As a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Donna M. Hunter, LCSW, CAP is qualified to complete your home study.  Mrs. Hunter will work in collaboration with your adoption agency or attorney to assure your home study requirements are completed.

 

What should you look for in a social worker?  Look for a licensed professional with experience in family dynamics and in conducting and writing home studies.  You will want to work with someone with whom you feel comfortable and confident.  Ask about the professionals' back ground, licensure status and membership in the National Association of Social Workers, or other national professional associations.  Feel free to ask for references.

What is a home study?  The home study is one of the first steps in the adoption process.  Think of it as the first green light on the adoption highway.  The home study is needed when you decide to adopt.  It is required by the State of Florida, Immigration and Naturalization (INS) and the foreign country from which you may adopt. The home study generally consists of several interviews.  These interviews will be completed inside your home and in the Global Therapy office.  Depending on what country or agency your are adopting from there may be a requirement for post placement interviews.  The interviews will be focused on three areas. First is the physical environment.  Are you physically and financially prepared for the adoption?  Is there appropriate space for the baby?  Do you have appropriate resources?  Is the home safe and secure?  Second, what are your parenting philosophies and styles?  This is determined by asking questions about how you were raised, your style of resolving conflicts, the state of your current social network.  Finally, there are questions about your future plans for your new baby and the family.  How do you see the baby integrating into the home. What concerns do you have?  How will your help you child achieve their dreams. What long term plans do you have in place?  The goal of the home visits is to have an open discussion and a real view of the living , family and emotional environment your new child will enter.  As for fido and the kitty; pets are an integral part of many people's lives.  There is no need to hide them.

To facilitate the home study process, an informational packet will be sent out prior to the interview.  It is requested the packet be completed and returned at least one week before the interview so the social worker can review the information.  The packet may include information regarding additional steps required by  Immigration and Naturalization Services. The packet will include many of the reference and statement forms you will  need to have completed.

Collecting the documentation.  This often appears to be one of the most daunting tasks.  There is no need to supply originals.  Copies of your documents will be kept on file as part of your adoption packet.

Copies of Marriage and Birth Certificates.  These documents must be state certified.

A local background check.  A form will be supplied in your packet.  You will need to go to your local police station and ask for a background check.  This form must be notarized by the person completing the check.

Copies of your medical records. A medical statement form will accompany your packet.  This form must be filled out by your physician for both spouses.

A copy of your most recent tax return.

Financial statement  A statement outlining income, assets, liabilities and   monthly expenses will be supplied for your completion.  This statement must be notarized.

Employment References.  A form you may submit to your employer will be supplied.  Once your employer completes the form they will send it directly to the social worker.

Three letters of reference. Included in your packet will be a handout to help those writing the letters of reference.  The references can come from no more than one family member.  The letters will be returned directly to the social worker.

A letter indicating guardianship plans.  Should the unforeseeable happen, who would you leave as guardian to your child?  This letter must come from the intended guardian indication their health status, marital status, their commitment to take the responsibility, their demographic information, their children's demographics, professions, and income.  This letter too will be sent directly to the social worker.

Home Study fees:

Domestic adoption home study is $800.   
Post Placement interviews $200 each
Subsequent home study $500

Home studies for international adoption are complex. They must meet requirements or obtain approval from: State of Florida, Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), Child's Country of Birth 
International adoption home study $1000
Subsequent home study $700
Post Placement interviews $200
INS update $500