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A home study is an important part of the adoption process. This is where the adoptive parents are assessed to ensure they offer a safe and loving environment to the child in need. While it can be a bit intimidating, Adoption.org offers the following tips to help you prepare.

The first step is to understand what occurs during the home study. You and your spouse will be interviewed several times by a social worker, who will also visit your home. The social worker will ask questions about things like parenting and discipline style, previous family history, along with many other aspects of your life. Your financial history will also be checked, and other background checks will be performed to determine if you have a criminal history.

You’ll also need to provide certain documents. While these can vary, in general, you should expect to provide birth certificates for your family, marriage certificates, verification of employment, life and health insurance documents, documents regarding any assets in your possession, such as a 401(k), information on debt, and results from a physical examination. You can also provide references, which will speak to your traits and qualities when it comes to parenting.

To prepare for the home visit portion, make sure your home is neat and tidy. Also, make sure your home is outfitted with safety features, including fire alarms. Other safety precautions should be taken, such as properly storing cleaning supplies and other hazardous chemicals, as well as making sure any firearms kept in the home are properly secured. The social worker will want to see the child’s room, as well as the relative space of the home. This is important to show that your child will have ample room and be comfortable in the home, while also remaining safe.