Legal Team Helping You Through The Adoption Home Study Process
Adopting a child can be an extremely exciting and joyful time for any family. Many families remember the process that they went through and the time when they received their child for the rest of their lives. However, one part of the process that can create some stress and nervousness for a lot of families is the home study. Having other people in your home to evaluate your potential as parents can be a bit intimidating, but it doesn’t need to be. As long as you understand your legal rights, remain honest throughout the process and work with an experienced lawyer who knows adoption law well, you will get through the home study just fine.
At Shawn P. Hammond and Associates, attorney Sean Hammond has more than 25 years of experience helping families through every stage of the adoption process. He serves clients in Augusta and throughout Georgia in all types of adoptions. It is important to Shawn to help you have the family you have always wanted.
What Is A Home Study?
A home study is a check of your home and your living environment. For most types of adoptions, a home study is conducted by a licensed and approved home study agency. Adoption home studies can serve to protect everyone involved. For the children, a home study can ensure that the home into which the child will be placed is safe and able to provide a loving, stable living environment. For the parents, the home study can be an educational opportunity to learn more about how to care for an adopted child.
The process will involve documents and interviews that will require detailed personal information. This information can include you and your partner’s parenting experience, education and work history, family values, reasons for wanting to adopt, criminal histories and other related issues.
Types Of Home Studies
Home studies will differ in Georgia, depending on the type of adoption you are seeking:
- Agency-placement private adoptions: In an agency adoption, the home study is mandatory in order to be approved as adoptive parents, and the home study must be conducted by a home study agency duly licensed by the state of Georgia. In these adoption home studies, there are three separate visits: usually, two that will occur in the office of the agency and one in your own home.
- Adopting a child from another country: An international adoption will have the same home study requirements as a private adoption, but there will be some additional requirements as well to satisfy federal adoption regulations and immigration requirements.
- Public adoption agency placements: Adopting a child in the state system carries higher home study standards than those involved with private adoptions. The process here is call IMPACT (Initial Interest, Mutual Selection, Pre-Service Training, Assessment, Continuing Development and Teamwork), an intensive training and evaluation program for adoptive parents.
- Independent adoption without an agency: A private adoption, whether it’s one within Georgia or one involving a child from another state, will require home study evaluations, either by an approved evaluator or a guardian ad litem assigned by the court.
It is important to note that subsequent studies are often required, sometimes annually and when families move or go through significant changes.