ADOPTION HOME STUDIES
We often meet with clients who know they want to adopt, but they don’t know where to start. A meeting with us is a great first step, but you will also need a home study.
Every family or individual who adopts must have a current home study. The only exception in Oklahoma is a stepparent adoption, if the stepparent has been married to the child’s parent for at least a year. Unfortunately, there is no exception for grandparents, guardians, or other relatives, no matter how long the child has lived in their home. If you adopt from foster care, DHS will conduct your home study. If you adopt through a domestic or international adoption agency many times the agency will prepare your home study. For everyone else, there are private home study providers who can help them.
What is a home study?
The phrase “homes study” is a little misleading. While the home study provider will meet with you in your home and will assess the safety and sufficiency of your home, the bulk of a home study is background information about the person or couple that is adopting. This includes official criminal background checks, a letter from your doctor, financial information, and even vaccination records for your animals. A good home study provider will also spend time getting to know you so he or she can write a thorough family history.
It is important to start early.
An average home study will take two to four months to complete, so it is important that you contact a home study provider as soon as you decide to pursue adoption. It is also important to remember that a home study expires after a year. That does not mean that you need to completely redo your home study every year, but you do need to meet with your home study provider so they can write an update.
Clients often ask us who we recommend to do their home study. While our clients always have the option of choosing their own home study provider, our favorite home study provider is Shay Patterson at Adoption Home Studies of Tulsa. She is experienced, thorough, and she has certainly earned our trust!
For individuals or families that have not yet matched with a birth parent, an adoption profile book is just as important as a home study. Read our profile book tips here.