The first step on the road to any type of adoption is a home study. I had heard this phrase before, but the only part I knew was that someone would come to our home for an inspection.
What I would come to learn as a prospective adoptive mom was that the home visit was just one step in a lengthy, frustrating process that would leave me feeling penalized for not being able to have biological children.
For anyone not familiar with a home study, here’s a brief rundown of the process. After completing a nearly 40-page application, we had to get fingerprinted. Next, we made a trip to our local city-county council building for background check #1.
Thankfully, we were able to simply send in authorizations for background checks #2 and #3. Meanwhile, we had to complete doctor’s visits in order to receive medical clearance, we had to provide full disclosure of all our personal finances, and we had to reach out to five references (no family) willing to vouch for our character. Finally, we had a visit from a social worker who came to our home to perform an inspection and to conduct an interview. Whew! And I should mention that it cost us over $1,200 to put ourselves through all of these steps?
I used to joke with friends and family that I just wanted to be a mom, not get a job with the CIA. All together, it was close to six months before we received our final report. We were finally given a parenting seal of approval. It was a tremendous relief to have the home study over and done with. As tough as it was though, the next step – finding a birth mother who wanted us to be her child’s parents – proved to be even tougher.