Adopt for the Love of a Child



Home Study Process

 

AdoptTLC incorporates the following elements into the home study process:


Training

AdoptTLC requires each adoptive family complete pre-adoption training during the home study process.  These training courses/readings help prospective adoptive parents better understand the needs of children waiting for families and helps families decide what type of child or children they can parent most successfully.  The required pre-adoption education will satisfy most of AdoptTLC's requirements as well as the Hague requirements.  To find out more information on the pre-adoption education please visit the Required Training tab on the website.


Interviews

As part of the home study process, a social worker will conduct several interviews with you and your family. These interviews will help you to develop a relationship with your social worker that will enable him or her to better understand your family and assist you with an appropriate placement.  If your family has adult children or children over the age of 6 living outside the home, the social worker will need to contact them by telephone, email, or schedule a face-to-face meeting with them.


Home Visit

Home visits ensure that your home meets the State of Texas Minimum Standards for environmental/fire safety.  This visit is accomplished by the social worker who will look for how you plan to accommodate a new family member (or members, if you are planning to adopt a sibling group).  Rest assured, social workers are NOT inspecting your home for housekeeping standards.


Health Statements

AdoptTLC requires all family members have a physical examination dated within the six months of the date the home study is finalized and notarized.  Your physician will have to sign a statement stating that each adopting parent in the household is essentially healthy, has a normal life expectancy, and is physically, emotionally, and mentally capable of providing care for a child or children.   If you have a medical condition that is controlled by medication (e.g., high blood pressure, diabetes), you may still be approved as a prospective adoptive family.  If anyone in your family has sought counseling or treatment for a mental health condition in the past, you will be asked to provide reports from those visits.   It is possible you may be asked to have a psychological evaluation.  AdoptTLC views seeking counseling and/or treatment help as a sign of strength. 


Income Statements

Although you do not have to be financially wealthy to adopt, you will have to show that you can manage your finances responsibly and adequately.  If you are adopting internationally, some countries may have specific income requirements you will be required to meet.  You will be asked to verify your income by providing copies of recent paycheck stubs, IRS 1040, bank statement, and a letter from your current employer. You will also be required to provide proof of adequate life insurance, health coverage, savings, and investments.


Background Checks

AdoptTLC will submit the names of all persons in the household over the age of 13 to the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services for a Central Registry Check. The Central Registry Check is a statewide database that checks for any history of child abuse or neglect and any criminal history. While this procedure may be considered invasive, it is a necessary step to ensure the safety of any child/children placed.   It is very important that you are honest with your social worker and agency about any and all past arrest history including arrests that you believe have been expunged.  AdoptTLC may be able to work with families with a criminal history, however this is dependent on the exact charge and its resolution.


Applicant Autobiography and Preparation for Adoption

You will be asked to complete an Applicant Autobiography form and a Preparation for Adoption form during your home study process. The Application Autobiography form consists of questions regarding you; it is a guide to help provide insight into your upbringing by providing your social worker a short autobiography. While writing about yourself can be intimidating, this exercise is intended to provide information about you to your social worker and the agency, as well as to help you explore issues related to the adoption.

The Preparation for Adoption form is to help you explore some adoption related issues that you may encounter before or after placement. It serves as a guide for your social worker to understand how to best work with you and guide you on your adoption journey.


References

References help the social worker form a more complete picture of your family and support system.  AdoptTLC will ask you to provide the names of at least three people or couples who have known you for a minimum of three years and who are NOT related to you. Good choices might include close friends, employer, a former teacher, a co-worker, a neighbor, a pastor, a rabbi, or a leader of your faith community.


Home Study Report

In general, the home study report includes the above-mentioned health and income statements, background checks, and references as well as the following information:

Family Background, Education, Employment History, Financial, Neighborhood, Religion, Feelings About and Readiness for Adoption, Marital Relationship, Family Relationships, Parenting Experiences, and Views on Discipline.


Although the adoption home study process may seem invasive, intimidating, and lengthy, it is conducted to help you decide whether adoption is right for your family, prepare your family for adoption, and help your family determine which type of child you could best parent. The process also serves to ensure children are placed in loving, caring, healthy, and safe environments.