Starting an Adoptive Family:
Getting Started: The Homestudy Process
During the homestudy process, a Bright Futures' caseworker will evaluate your ability to meet the physical, developmental, emotional and educational needs of a child and will write a written report stating the caseworker's conclusions as to the characteristics of children which your home can safely accommodate and which you can best serve.
Bright Futures believes that the homestudy process is not just a time for analyzing financial capacity or the size of your home, but instead is a time for talking with you about your concerns as you build your family through adoption. Our goal is to make the homestudy process an educational and enriching process for adopting parents. The homestudy process is a time for adopting parents to discuss with Bright Futures and each other such issues as the type of child they are comfortable parenting, how and when they will tell their child their adoption story, what type of ongoing contact they might like to have with their child's birth family, how they were raised and how they want to raise their child, and what their expectations are for a child.
The homestudy process takes between thirty (30) and sixty (60) days to complete from the date of your first homestudy meeting with Bright Futures. Your Homestudy will involve:
- A minimum of three meetings with your Bright Futures' caseworker;
- At least one meeting in your home;
- At least one interview with each adopting parent individually;
- Interviews with all other members of your household, as appropriate to the age of the member of the household;
- Determination of whether each adopting parent and adult household member has a background free of conduct which in the judgment of the evaluator bears adversely upon his or her ability to provide for the safety and well being of children. In making this determination, Bright Futures will consider whether the adopting parent(s) or other adult household member(s) have engaged in conduct which results in his or her child being adjudicated in need of care and protection, and the adopting parent(s)' or other adult household member(s)' use of drugs or alcohol and criminal history, if any;
- Inquiry into your motivation for adopting a child;
- Assessment of the emotional stability and compatibility of the adopting parent(s);
- Social, educational and health history of the adopting parent(s);
- A description of your family composition, your home and the adjustment of your other children, if any;
- Assessment of the family's attitude toward accepting an adopted child, the family's relationship with extended family, and the attitude of extended family toward accepting an adopted child;
- Assessment of parenting ability, including attitudes toward child rearing and discipline;
- Review of three written references;
- Review of a written statement from a licensed physician regarding the health of each member of the household;
- Review of birth certificates, marriage certificates and/or divorce decrees, as appropriate; and
- Review of the applicant(s)' financial ability to care for an adopted child;
All homestudies are documented in a written report. A copy of the written report will be available to you within thirty (30) days after your last visit with the caseworker.