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Once their letters of reference are secured and their home study paperwork is complete, straight and gay would-be adoptive parents face one of the most stressful events of their adoption home study—the dreaded visit or series of visits by a social worker to their home. This is a high-stakes event. This social worker has the power to advance your dreams or stop them dead. Don’t be placated by anyone who tells you, “Relax. Just be yourself.” When has that ever worked for anyone? Here are some suggestions.
There's no set format that adoption agencies use to conduct home studies. Many agencies include several steps in their home study process, although the specific details and order will vary. For more information, talk with the agencies you are considering.
All U.S. states require prosective parents undergo home study. This process evaluates desire and commitment to adopt. Home study also explores reasons for adopting and provides education about adopting. The result is an evaluation for prospective parents.
Home study begins after application to adopt a child has been established (whether through an agency, an attorney/facilitator, or directly to the court in an open/independent adoption).
Open adoption (or independent adoption without an agency) is a good choice for prospective gay and lesbian parents. By eliminating interaction with an agency, you avoid the barriers some create - such as restrictions based on marital status or sexual orientation. You are responsible for finding a birth parent, a social worker, and a judge; and the typical cost begins at $9,000 but can exceed $35,000.
When you become an adoptive parent, you will have the same rights and responsibilities as a biological parent.
As required by applicable state law, a birthmother is advised about legal and procedural issues prior to relinquishing her parental rights or consenting to an adoption.
A man identified by the birthmother as a possible birthfather must have his rights terminated before the baby is free for adoption.
The biological parent of a child.