Choosing your Adoption Teammates
If you’ve been considering adoption for any length of time at all, you’ve almost certainly stumbled upon home study information. In Texas, all prospective adoptive parents are required to participate in an adoption home study (also referred to as a social study). This includes step-parent adoptions. You can find a ton of information all over the internet about what the home study process entails. Adoption home studies are pretty regulated by the Texas Family Code with regard to what information must be included. But the actual home study process will vary widely from social worker to social worker.
When choosing someone to complete your home study, choose wisely. Call a few different social workers. Don’t have your agency, attorney, or the legal assistant just call around to find the cheapest rate. Before your home study is completed, you will have divulged extremely personal and intimate details about your life to your home study social worker. So, in addition to finding a competent and experienced home study worker, you want to find someone who you “click” with. Someone who can put you at ease and make you feel comfortable. Someone who validates your fears and helps you work through them. Someone who is on your team.
Think about that for a minute. Your home study worker will be hired, by you, to form a judgment, about you. There is no denying the bottom line. But along the way, your home study worker should have the same goal as you do: to help you bring your child home. When I work with families, my intent isn’t to determine IF they get to be parents. It’s to help them figure out WHEN they get to be parents.
Evidence suggests that something like 85% of therapy is all about the client’s connection and rapport with the therapist. The home study process is no different. You don’t have to connect with your home study worker to end up with well written home study that meets your state’s requirements. But if you want that experience to be positive, you need to feel comfortable, connected, open, and at ease.
Remember. On Your Team.