One of the big steps to adopting is being LEGALLY ALLOWED to adopt. This requires getting a license to adopt. In order for us to be licensed to adopt we had to complete a Home Study.
The Home Study is a ”comprehensive examination of employment history, home, physical and emotional health, finances and personal relationships including a criminal background check.”
Over the course of many months we:
got fingerprinted, had background checks, completed 12 hours of online classes (pre-natal substance exposure, trans-racial families, birth mothers discussing their viewpoint, etc.), had sessions with adoption counselors (discussing how we were parented, how we intend to parent, etc), our dog needed to have all vaccinations verified, we collected documents (passports, wedding certificate, birth certificates, car insurance), got thorough physical exams, filled out and filed lots of lots of paperwork, got life insurance, created a detailed diagram of our home and developed a fire evacuation plan. We also needed to have 5 friends and 2 family members write letters of recommendation for us.
I read an Adoption blog once that pointed out that the home study and adoption process as a whole is like a paperwork pregnancy.
The Home Study: paperwork to get you the baby works. (I should probably edit that out…but I’m sticking to it).
And so now…You Know.