Host: What is involved in the home study process?
Eliza Niemann: Well, there are ten components in a home study. First is the paperwork component and that s the part where a lot of people feel that it can be sometimes overwhelming, they see stacks of forms that need to be filled out or a list of paperwork they need to provide the agency, but it's really not that overwhelming and the agency staff is usually there to help coordinate with you and make sure that you have all the assistance you need. The type of paperwork that s required in a home study ranges from reference letters from co-workers, neighbors, friends, employment letters, medical checkups have to be done, criminal clearances must be done, financial information is provided and autobiographies are often requested as well. Each state has their basic requirement for home study and then it's not in common for some agencies to add on to those that list of requirements of what they like. So for example, not every agency requires autography, but many do. Once all this paperwork is provided the next step then is to meet with a social worker that s been assigned to you and you have several interviews with that social worker, both if you are couple, both together as well as individually or if you re adopting as a single, just individually; and the important thing to remember about these interviews is that the social worker is not just there to evaluate you as a family, are you ready to adopt; is this the right time for you to adopt or their concerns, are their special issues as a family, whether they be medical issues or what are your expectations for adopting, but also in terms of being their to help you prepare you as an adoptive family to become, adoptive parents. So it's not a white-glove inspection. They are not looking in the clause; it's they are not looking under your bed. They want to be there for you and provide support in preparation to help you to get as ready as you can and learn as much as you can about the adoption process and ultimately it's for the child to make sure that that child has a safe and secure environment and the family is as prepared as possible to adopt.