Adoption Home Study in Missouri
The adoption process asks a lot of you as a hopeful adoptive parent. There’s plenty to do, and it can be a challenge at times. For many hopeful parents, the home study is one of the most challenging and stressful steps. But, it doesn’t have to be that way.
Are you preparing for the adoption home study in Missouri? You’ve come to the right place. This complete guide to the home study for adoption in Missouri will help you understand the purpose of the home study, the professionals that you’ll need to work with, and the things you can do to prepare.
Without the right information and support, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated by the adoption process. The home study can be especially overwhelming if you feel confused and unprepared. Once you’re done with this guide, you’ll be able to prepare for a successful Missouri adoption home study.
Let’s get started.
What is the Home Study for Adoption in Missouri?
Every hopeful adoptive parent will have to complete a home study. There could be slight differences in your Missouri adoption home study depending on the type of adoption you choose, but most requirements are the same.
The purpose of the home study is to ensure that placement with your family will be in the best interests of a child. This is accomplished through a review of your living situation, lifestyle and adoption readiness by a licensed social worker.
The home study process, as we’ll discuss in greater detail below, occurs early in the overall adoption process and is one of the most important steps for any hopeful parent to complete.
Who Can Do a Home Study for Adoption in Missouri?
Adoption home studies in Missouri must be conducted by a licensed home study provider. Depending on the professional you are working with for placement, your agency may be able to provide the necessary services. However, many agencies are not licensed to perform home studies for adoption in Missouri.
If your agency cannot provide these services, you will need to find a different professional for your home study. There are several options available to you:
Getting a Missouri Adoption Home Study
You know why the home study is necessary, and you know several professionals you can call to find the services you need to complete the Missouri adoption home study. But, how does it actually work?
As you’ll see, the home study is a process unto itself. There are several steps involved, and it’s typically the most intensive part of becoming an active waiting family. Remember, your agency will be there to provide support along the way, so you aren’t in this alone.
With that in mind, here’s what it takes to complete the home study for adoption in Missouri.
Step 1: Documentation
Your social worker will need to review all of the necessary documents for the first step of the adoption home study in Missouri. This includes things like proof of income, insurance, tax records, proof of employment and more (which you can find in our detailed list below).
Step 2: Interviews
One component of the home study is an assessment of your adoption readiness. This is done through interviews with each of the hopeful parents, as well as any other members of the household and, potentially, other family and friends as character references. Be ready to answer questions about your parenting philosophy, as well as the personal research you’ve done to learn more about adoption.
Step 3: Home Visit
After interviews, the next step of the home study for adoption in Missouri is the home visit. Here, your social worker will inspect your house. They’ll be looking for basic safety measures to ensure that your home will be suitable for a child. You can find a list of simple ways to add safety features to your home study checklist below.
Step 4: Post-Placement Visits
The home visit is the last step of the Missouri adoption home study before placement. After placement, a separate set of visits will be conducted, often by the same social worker, to observe how everyone is adapting to placement. The social worker creates a report from these visits that is required before your adoption can be finalized.
Your Adoption Home Study Checklist in Missouri
You can take proactive steps today to prepare for a successful home study for adoption in Missouri. It will feel overwhelming if you try to get everything done at once, but getting a head start will make things much easier.
Begin preparing for your Missouri adoption home study by printing out these checklists and committing to cross off at least one item a day. You’ll be ready before you know it.
Required documentation to gather and organize ahead of time:
- Driver’s licenses
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Most recent tax return
- Recent medical statements
- Insurance records
- Personal written statements about your intent to adopt
- Reference letter for adoption from family, friends, or acquaintances (3-5 letters)
- Green card (if applicable)
- Military discharges (if applicable)
- Previous adoption decrees (if applicable)
- Pet vaccination records (if applicable)
- Passports (for international adoption home studies)
Home safety measures to put in place before the home visit:
- Fences around pools
- Gates blocking stairs
- Screens on windows
- Functioning locks on doors and windows
- Fire extinguisher
- Working smoke and CO2 detectors
- Covered trash cans
- First-aid kit
- Covered electrical outlets
- Any weapons locked in a gun safe
- Toxic substances (medicine, paint, cleaning supplies, etc.) out of reach of children
- Bookcases and heavy furniture bolted to wall
- Readily accessible list of emergency phone numbers and home emergency and evacuation plans
Learn More Today
Do you have more questions about your home study for adoption in Missouri? You can contact us at any time to be connected with an adoption professional that provides Missouri home study services.
In the meantime, you can also read more of our in-depth guides to the Missouri adoption process.