The Home Study

February 25, 2011 § Leave a comment

Home Study or Home Invasion?

When the doorbell rang on the eve of our scheduled Home Study I had in my mind a brief picture of Nanny McPhee’s broom-hugging silhouette spiralling down above our house. Add some thunder and lightening for effect. Ding dong…

The Home Study is a required part of all adoptions, domestic and international. It is an assessment carried out by a social worker on behalf of the government to see if the prospective adoptive parents are suitable to adopt a child.

We had an idea of the type of questions we would be asked before hand because each of us had to fill out a detailed Self-Report questionnaire before our meeting with the social worker.We were also told they will need to take a tour of our house and may take photos.

So we did what any couple would do and tidied up the house, made coffee and cookies, gave two large bones to our dog Eddie to help keep him preoccupied and then sat there nervously and waited for our guest to arrive.

It turned out that there was no reason to be nervous. Our RSW Leanne was not out to get us — on the contraire — she was friendly and accommodating.

For almost two hours she casually asked us questions, graciously laughed off Eddie’s steady gas, took notes and then did a very brief tour of our house. (She said she didn’t need to see the basement unless we had seven cats down there).

Before she left we scheduled our individual face to face meetings with her at a coffee shop for the following week. (Required).

When it is all said and done, I have a 15 page fine-print Home Study Report in my hands that details our lives in chronological order; It’s likened to that flash that people say they get before they are about to die of their lives on display before them, but on paper.

Some of the topics you will have to be prepared to talk about with your social worker are:

  • your motivation to adopt
  • finances
  • home life growing up, relationship with parents and siblings (then and now) as well as extended family relationships
  • any traumatic events that you have experienced
  • personal character strengths and flaws
  • marital relationship: what you and your spouse argue about and how you resolve conflict, if you have ever separated and/or received counselling
  • list of values that are most important to you
  • disciplinarian techniques you plan to use, and if you plan on spanking your child
  • how you plan to prepare and support your child for cultural, race and other issues they may face
  • how you plan on accommodating a child with attachment issues

However uncomfortable it can be sharing your complete life with someone hoo you just met, our Home Study experience was good. And, we are one step closer!

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