A prerequisite to any adoptive placement is an approved home study in your state of residence. Home study requirements vary from state to state but typically include one or more home visits and interviews with the prospective adoptive family, criminal and abuse registry record checks, FBI fingerprint checks, medical clearances, verification of employment and financial status, discussion of social history information and more. Personal references are also required.
Here are some of the required topics covered in a home study in Iowa:
- Motivation for adoption and whether the family has biological, adopted or foster children
- Family and extended family’s attitude toward accepting an adopted child
- Plans for discussing adoption with the child
- Emotional stability; marital history; assessment of marital relationship; and compatibility of the adoptive parents
- Ability to cope with problems, stress, frustrations, crises, separation and loss
- Medical, mental, or emotional conditions which may affect ability to parent a child
- Ability to provide for the child’s physical and emotional needs and respect the child’s cultural and religious identity
- Attitudes of the adoptive applicants toward birthparents and the reasons that child is available for adoption
- Income information, ability to provide for a child
- Intended disciplinary practices
- Substance use or abuse and treatment
- Recommendations for type of child best parented by the family
Sounds exhausting, doesn’t it! Actually, most home study visits are enjoyable and educational for everyone involved. If you are in the process of doing remodeling and have a messy spot in the house, no worries! Don’t have a nursery set up yet? OK with us and in fact, we don’t recommend doing that until much later in the process. And we promise, we don’t come wearing white gloves to check for dust bunnies!! Relax and enjoy the process!
Approved home studies in Iowa are valid for two years and must be updated every two years after that. One home visit is required after the first year. Only one home visit is required for an update after the two years has expired and only state criminal record checks are repeated for an update.