Utah Home Study
The very first thing you should know about an adoption home study – they are there to help you adopt, never to try to keep you from adopting.
All families must complete the home study process before a baby can be placed with you. The real home study helps to ensure a good match is manufactured between children and families.
It’s also to ensure the homes of hopeful adoptive families are safe and comply with state adoption laws.
Not all home studies are created equal. Every state has its own adoption laws and different requirements. Most states require that either an adoption agency or social worker must complete your home study.
A Utah Home Study does not require an agency to do the home study. Which means you’re able to find a more affordable option such as Bridgestone Home Study.
It’s helpful to know that agencies and social workers want you to adopt and become parents. They aren't looking for the perfect parents - because everybody knows there are no perfect parents.
5 Techniques For Getting Through Your Utah Adoption Home Study
1. Find out about and understand home studies in Utah.
It helps to learn what you're getting into, right? Below are a few helpful places to learn about home studies:
The adoption home study process
Surviving the dreaded adoption home study
Once you start your home study, your social worker shall let you know what information they want. To offer some knowledge of what they shall require, here’s an average home study checklist to review.
The checklist outlines many of the common items required in a home study, but should be used as an example only. Always contact your social worker or agency to get exactly what you need for your home study so you comply with your state’s adoption laws.
2. Prepare for your home visit - but don’t go crazy.
Your home will be checked to make sure it is a safe place for a child to live. So, yes you need to clean your house - but it doesn’t have to be 100% clutter-free. The social worker will not get out a white glove to make sure your home is dust free.
"Our social worker looked at every room including garage and bathrooms. It took him all of 5 mins to go through the whole house, so it is not that big of a deal.”
Here are some important items to check before your home visit:
Your home has smoke alarms in bedrooms and in living areas.
If you have guns, they are properly locked away.
Pools are protected/fenced.
Home and poisons cleaners are in cupboards with childproof locks.
Home window drape cords ought never to hang up at your fingertips.
3. Treat your social worker as if you would any special guest in your house.
Try thinking of the social worker as a good friend who wants to hear your story and about how excited you are to be a parent.
You simply want them to feel welcome. You should think about the best & most comfortable place for you all to sit and talk. A dining room table works great because there’s a lot of room for the social worker to construct documents and write, but it might not be the most comfortable.
Choose a place to sit and visit that has these two elements: 1. Comfortable. 2. Place to write and spread out paperwork.
4. Prepare for your interviews with the interpersonal worker.
The social worker will likely interview you to find out what kind of family you are. They will ask you personal questions about:
Why you want to adopt
Your marriage & relationship
Your health history
How you handle stress
Your parenting style (how you plan on disciplining)
It helps to think about these topics before you have to answer them. Usually, the shorter the answers the better. Don’t leave out important details, but know that the social worker shall ask more if they wish to know more.
Honesty is important. Don’t try to do what you know the social worker wants to listen to ever. Don’t hide anything. It is far better to be up honest.
5. Don’t be stunned by the top paperwork pile.
You'll get a collection of paperwork to complete including:
Criminal record checks - including FBI fingerprinting.
References (3-4 people who know you well should answer questions about you)
Home Study Questionnaire
Employer reference questionnaire - verifying your current employment.
Financial statement - including assets and liabilities as well as copies of your most recent tax documents.
Health declaration - requiring you to obtain a medical physical check by your doctor.
Provide copies of vital records such as marriage license, birth certificates, divorce decrees.
Gathering information and completing all of this paperwork is what calls for the most time because you are at the mercy of other people. For some of this, you are going to have to wait for others to do the work for you - background checks from the government, your 3 or 4 personal references, your medical doctor availability for your physical, etc.
While all of this may seem daunting and overwhelming, adoptive families find the process through Bridgestone Home Study has been easy.
Believe it or not, you don’t need to be a Martha Stewart clone to pass an adoption home study in Utah. The idea of a stranger coming into my home to see whether I was “suitable for a kid” terrorized me. Do I own fitting Tupperware? Are the corners of my fireplace equipped with security guards? Is the water in the toilet bowl the best color of aqua? I was a nervous wreck, to say the least.
Simply said, a home study is a process used to review the lives of future adoptive parents. Although home studies are required for both service and non-agency adoptions, the strategy to conducting a home study varies. Adoption agencies have the independence to develop procedures, policies, and their particular program packet within the rules of the state. They generally provide their own particular caseworkers to conduct the home studies. The home study itself is a written report of the findings of a social worker that has met with you and your partner (and all other children in your family) on several occasions, with at least one assembly taking place in your house.
To prepare for the home study procedure, you’ll probably need to supply the following:
1) Written autobiography (of both future parents)
Most agencies provide guidelines or a format to use, but the bottom line is you’ve got to write about YOU. Describe your previous and current relationship with your parents, your siblings, your extended family, how you were raised, how you were disciplined, your education, how your extended family feels about your adoption interests, your future aims, your religious affiliation, your work and hobbies, your support network, your neighborhood or community, your exposure or involvement with kids in the past and present, why you wish to adopt a kid, how you have concluded feelings about infertility, anticipated relationship with the kid’s birth parents, and whatever else you think speaks about you as someone and would-be parent. During a home study visit, you might be asked for additional information regarding the pieces you've written about.
You must have documentation of birth certificates and marriage licenses.
You'll need to supply letters from 4-5 folks who can attest to your ability to love and raise a youngster and understand you. Attempt to pick individuals who have observed you with kids, who have known you for several years, who are in favor of your adoption strategies and understand.
4) Medical advice
A current physical examination.
The home study in Utah is normally finished before a youngster is identified and referred to the adoptive parents. Before the social worker came to run our home study visit our daughter had been in our house for almost 2 weeks. He was familiar with our house and lived in our neighborhood as it turned out. We talked about the amazing donut store across the corner and our recent trip to Argentina. He made polite remarks about the state of our teen’s room also walked through our house, and checked the locks on the gate around our pool. As soon as I admitted to him how nervous I was about the visit, he said “We want to seek out dwellings suitable and loving for kids. Our job would be to assist you to pass, not look for your faults.
So recall those words that are wise, and most importantly, be yourself. There is a child out there ready to come into your house that is loving and suitable. You will pass your adoption in Utah too.
Nathan Peterson, LCSW