What is a homestudy?

When an adoptive couple has made the decision to adopt a child, they are required to acquire a “Home Study.”  The purpose of a homestudy is to help educate the adoptive couple about the psychological and physical aspects of adoption.    It is also allows for the caseworker to gather information about the family to write a report that could be anywhere from 7 to 20 pages long.  Information gather would include areas such as what was learned about the family, their readiness to adopt a child, verify the couple meets the requirements of the state as well as to assess their ability to receive child that is not biologically born to them.

 

Requirements to Adopt in Utah

  • Must be married for at least two years
  • You must have health insurance that will cover the cost of an adopted child
  • You must have financial stability to support a child
  • Your home must be a safe and inviting place
  • Must complete necessary adoption training
  • May not have a criminal record or a history of child or adult abuse
  • No addictions
  • Have a healthy and stable marriage
  • No communicable or disabling disorder

 

How long will it take go compete a Homestudy?

Ultimately the completion of the website is primarily dependent on the adoptive couple.  Typically it could take anywhere between 10-20 hours collecting information, participating in interviews and receiving a visit in home to collect enough information to complete the homestudy.  From beginning to end, the homestudy can be completed within a 30-45 day time period.

 

What documents will I need?

These documents include the following: Certified copy of Marriage License, Certified copy of Birth Certificates, Photo Copy of Drivers License and Social Security Card, Employment verification form filled out by employer, Medical reports for Adoptive couple and any other individual’s living within the home, divorce decree if applicable, Criminal Clearances, Reference Letters, agency questionnaires.

 

How do I get Started? (What to Expect?)

The adoption home study is a detailed written report of information gathered about your family and information about your home, compiled and prepared by a social worker. The home study is required by law to be submitted to court prior to approval for adoption. You will need to gather different types of documents, answer questions in an in-home interview, and explore your reasons for adopting. Through a series of visits and interviews the social worker can get a complete picture of your family and your feelings about adopting a child.

 

What included in the Homestudy?

Personal and Family Background: You will be asked to describe yourself, your experiences with children, and your relationships with family, friends and co-workers. If you are married, you will each be asked separately to share information about your relationship with your spouse and how you resolve conflicts within your relationship. You will be asked to talk about your extended family and the role they play in your life. To provide a description of your lifestyle, and what your values and beliefs are. Lastly, you will provide information about your communication and problem-solving styles.

Home Assessment: Information must be obtained to assure that your home meets basic health and safety standards. Usually as long as your home is safe and inviting for you to live in, it will meet the needs of an adopted child or children. A basic safety audit and a fire inspection will be conducted during your home visit.

Family Income: You will be asked to submit documents that show you have stability in your income. You need to show that your income is able to meet your own basic needs, and also the needs of the child.

Documentation of Identity/Status: You will be asked to provide one or more of the following documents for the report: copies of your birth certificates, citizenship documentation, marriage license, divorce decree (if a divorce has occurred for either spouse).

Employment status: You will be asked to provide information about your employment history. If you are employed, verification will be needed.

Health: You will be requested to provide a physician’s statement or forms for your physician to fill out stating that you do not have any debilitating or communicable diseases which would interfere with your ability care for a child.

Police/Criminal Record check: In order to protect children, the state requires a background check to identify individuals who have hurt children or who have been convicted of certain extremely serious and violent crimes.

References: You will be asked to provide the names, addresses and phone numbers of at least five individuals (one of the references must be a relative) who can speak to your character and your experience with children.

Summary and Social Workers’ recommendation

Process:

Fill out the application and as soon as you send it in with your payment we will contact you within 48 hours to schedule the initial home visit.
While waiting for the home visit collect the following documents:

  1. Certified copies of Birth certificates for each resident of the household;
  2. Certified copies of Marriage Certificate;
  3. If there is a previous marriage for either partner a final Decree(s) of Divorce for each marriage;
  4. Copies of any certificates of training: including adoptive parenting classes.
  5. Financial Verification: The purpose is to support an evaluation of your financial stability and ability to provide for a (another) child.
    1. Copy of five most recent Federal Income Tax Returns; NOTE: New
    2. Verification Of Deposit from bank; if with this bank less than five (5) years, then from previous bank(s) as well.
    3. Proof of Insurance: health.
  6. Physician’s Report for each member of the household.
  7.  Guardians: The complete name(s) address and phone number of the guardians of this child in the event of the death(s) of the applicants, and how they have designated as guardians.

Once the initial visit is completed we will schedule time for individual interviews with each parent. Any required paperwork that was not provided at the initial interview should be gathered and provided to the social worker at the time of the follow up interviews.

Once all the interviews and home inspection have been completed and all the paperwork provided a home study document will be created by the social worker for presentation to the court.

Post Adoption:

In the state of Utah you are required to complete a follow-up to your home study after the child has been placed with you.

We offer a follow-up home study for $85.

This will involve an in home visit for home inspection and also an interview with each parent. Some updated documents will need to be provided for this follow up study. Specific information concerning the necessary documentation will be provided by the social worker.

The amount of time necessary to complete a follow-up home study will be shorter than that required for the original.

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