All prospective adoptive parents must complete an adoption home study in order to be approved to adopt a child in Kansas or Missouri. This is an important adoption requirement from the state that ensures all prospective adoptive families are truly excited and prepared for the prospect of bringing an adopted child into their home.

Fortunately, there are many Kansas City adoption home study professionals available to help prospective adoptive parents complete this step in their adoption process, and attorney Kevin Kenney can help refer you to trusted home study professionals near you.

When you complete an adoption home study in Kansas or Missouri, a trained social worker will visit your home to conduct a house assessment and in-home interviews with members of your household. The process will also include a collection of documentation — essentially an overview of your life. A home study for adoption may seem overwhelming at first, but your adoption professional will help you prepare for this investigation so you can successfully be cleared to adopt.

Keep reading to learn more about adoption home studies in Kansas and Missouri and what you can expect from this process.

Who Must Complete an Adoption Home Study?

As mentioned, an adoption home study is a requirement for all prospective adoptive parents who are unrelated to the child they are attempting to adopt. Usually, those completing relative or stepparent adoptions will be exempt from the home study requirement.

In both a Kansas adoption home study and a Missouri adoption home study, every member of the prospective family must be included. Adoption home studies must be completed annually until a child is placed with the adoptive family and should be updated right away with any significant changes in the family situation. They must also be completed in the state of the adoptive family’s residence, even if the family is adopting a child from another state. (ICPC processes will ensure each state receives a copy of the home study.)

If you have questions about whether you need to complete a home study for your adoption process, adoption attorney Kevin Kenney can always explain the adoption requirements that will apply in your situation. You can call him at 913-671-8008.

The Different Steps of the Adoption Home Study

The adoption home study in Kansas and Missouri is an involved process with several different steps. Each of these steps plays an important role in determining whether a prospective adoptive family is prepared to adopt a child. Once you select a home study provider, they will help you understand and prepare for the process ahead of you.

1. Documentation

The first step after selecting a professional is gathering all the necessary documentation required to complete a Kansas or Missouri adoption home study. Because this step often takes the longest, prospective adoptive families should start collecting their documentation as early as possible.

The documentation for an adoption home study will likely include:

  • Background checks and clearances, including state and federal criminal background checks
  • Doctor’s proof of the adoptive family’s physical and mental health
  • Financial statements to prove financial ability to care for a child
  • References and letters of recommendation for adoption from friends and family members
  • Autobiographical statements from the prospective mother and father

Your home study provider will work with you throughout this stage to ensure you collect the appropriate paperwork and will often provide you with an adoption home study checklist, as well.

2. In-Home Inspection and Interviews

After you have gathered your necessary documentation, your home study provider will arrange at least one in-home visit. During this time, a trained social worker will inspect your home to ensure that it is a viable environment in which to raise a child. This investigation is more of an education opportunity; the social worker will take this chance to teach a family about areas in the home that should be modified for the child’s safety. You will not be automatically denied if you fail to meet a few safety requirements during the first visit, as long as you remedy those situations for the next visit.

During this home inspection, the social worker will also interview all members of the household regarding their feelings about adoption and how prepared they are for this journey. These interviews give an adoption professional a better understanding of the adoptive family’s personalities, their goals for adoption and whether they’re ready for the challenges ahead.

3. Post-Placement Visits

The adoption home study process may not just be a pre-placement requirement. Depending on your situation and state laws, you may have to undergo post-placement visits, designed to ensure your adopted child is settling well into your family. These typically continue at set intervals until the adoption is finalized.

What Else to Know About Completing an Adoption Home Study

It’s not uncommon for prospective adoptive parents to stress about completing their adoption home study, but working with an appropriate adoption professional can help prepare you for the different steps of the investigation. Make sure to choose an adoption home study provider that you trust to make the process a little easier. Kevin Kenney can always refer you to local professionals his clients commonly work with.

An adoption home study can seem intimidating, but remember that these adoption professionals want to help you become adoptive parents. Your house need not be picture-perfect for your investigation, and your professional will not judge you for a little bit of messiness. Instead, they will focus on what is really important in a prospective adoptive parent, which is the ability to provide safety and love for a child. If there are areas in your investigation in which you need to improve, your social worker will provide suggestions to help you meet those standards in your next home visit.

To learn more about whether your adoption process will require an adoption home study and the specific pre-placement legal requirements in you state, contact adoption attorney Kevin Kenney today.