I have completed over 900 domestic and international adoption reports and independent home studies for a wide variety of children and families. These services include pre-placement home studies, combined pre/post-placement home studies, relative or kinship reports, step-parent and domestic partner post-placement reports, and interstate and international adoptions.
Pre-Placement Adoption Home Studies
In most instances, adoptions involving children (under the age of 18 years) require an assessment of the prospective adoptive parent and the adoptive home environment prior to child placement. The report that is completed is called a “pre-placement” home study or report. The process involved and the information contained in the report complies with Washington State laws and any local “court rules” that may apply in your county’s Superior Court. Typically this includes parent interviews, a review of social and background information, law enforcement clearances, reference statements, medical evaluations and financial information.
After a child has been placed with his or her adoptive parents, the Court will need a post-placement report prior to the finalization of the adoption. The post-placement report evaluates how well the child’s placement is going – what’s working well and what transitional challenges may be taking place.
Post-placement reports are also required when a Step-Parent is adopting the child of his or her spouse/partner. The law does not require a “pre-placement” report in a Step-Parent adoption.
If a child is already living in the home of the prospective adoptive parent(s), the court may order that the pre-placement home study be combined with a post-placement report.
Adoption is a subject near and dear to my heart because I was adopted as a child. From both a personal and professional viewpoint, I believe that adoption is a positive and viable way to create a family. I believe that all members of the adoption triad should be treated with respect and in an ethical and legal manner. The home study process is one of education and self-evaluation – a time for the potential adoptive parent to look at his or her preparedness to parent while considering the special gifts and abilities he or she has to offer an adopted child.
My role as an adoption professional is that of an educator, mentor, and evaluator. Both during and after the home study process, I offer ongoing consultation and information to adoptive parents. I believe it is important for the adoptive parent to understand the challenges as well as the joys inherent in adoption. Adoption is a major decision that will permanently influence the lives of all involved. I attempt to assist and support the adoptive parent in balancing the complex emotions and difficult decisions that are a part of the adoption process.