The adoption home study is the cornerstone of any adoption, be it international or domestic. A family is required to have a current, valid home study in order to be considered for a specific child. Once you apply to have a home study completed for your family, you will be referred to a home study Social Worker who will lead you through the process. So, what do Social Workers think of the home study? We caught up with Regina Levin, MSW, LSW, Adoption Social Worker for Madison Adoption Associates, to get a social worker’s perspective on this important process and document!
What is your favorite part of the Home Study process with a family?
Identifying how I can be most helpful, whether it is clarifying all the paperwork, as the paperwork can be very overwhelming! Or helping them understand the parent preparation training, be it understanding the challenges of trans-racial adoption or the challenges of adopting a child from an orphanage or another topic that they have more questions about.
What are your expectations when entering a home?
I know that many prospective adoptive parents are usually very anxious about “feeling judged,” so my main goal is to help them relax and help them view the home study not only as an evaluation, but also as an opportunity for me to get to know them. I usually share that I have adopted my two children (now adults) from other countries, and my husband and I were the subjects of two home studies before I became an adoption social worker, so I truly know what it feels like to be in their shoes.
What do you hope a family takes away from the home study process?
I hope they are as comfortable as can be with their expectations of what their family life will be like after a child arrives, but with a realistic understanding of the potential challenges.
How prepared for adoption do you expect a family to be at the start of the home study?
I do hope that they have done some research as to the typical age and health status of children available for adoption, but I don’t expect them to be well-informed since that is my job to help them with this. However, it is better if they have done some research so that they have some realistic expectations about the process.
What would be one thing you want ALL families to know before they meet their home study social worker?
That we social workers are a great resource for support and information, and they should feel comfortable enough to disclose even difficult background information about themselves since we are not looking to “reject” parents, but rather to enable them to adopt by looking at their strengths.
What is your least favorite part of the home study process?
Tracking down the one or two outstanding documents holding up the completion of the Home Study. I am always eager to finish up the Home Study with the applicants’ approval so that they can move on to the next phase (dossier, USCIS approval, become active on the wait list for a referral)!
Thank you for your insight Regina!
Madison Adoption Associates is licensed in DE, PA, NJ, and IL to conduct both international and domestic home studies. If you are thinking about adoption, get your home study started today, so that you can provide a tomorrow to a waiting child! Email Laura Taylor at email@example.com for more information about getting your home study underway.