The decision to adopt a child involves a lengthy vetting process, including a home study to ensure you can provide a safe and nurturing home for a child. Unfortunately, this step in the adoption process is the most intimidating for many prospective parents.
Knowing what to expect during your North Carolina home study can help ease your anxiety.
The first phase of the North Carolina home study involves gathering documents that prequalify you to adopt. You must submit records, including pay stubs, medical reports, IRS 1040 tax return summaries, criminal background check reports, personal history statements and character references. A private adoption agency or the local Department of Social Services uses these materials to determine your candidacy for parenthood before proceeding with subsequent steps of the home study.
A social worker will interview your household members together and separately to learn about family dynamics, parenting and conflict resolution styles, financial attitudes, and anything else that could impact a child. It is helpful to consider potentially challenging questions, including those involving infertility. Preparing to answer these questions thoughtfully and honestly will ensure you express everything you want the social worker to know.
The final part of the home study involves an inspection of your physical home, which can occur when you have the interview. This step ensures that you understand how to prepare a safe living space for a child. For example, social workers want to confirm that a home is drug-free with no physical violations and has appropriate areas for a child to sleep and play.
The entire adoption process is less intimidating when you remember that it leads to realizing your dream of parenthood.