Not all prospective adoptive parents are childless, in fact about half have a child or children already in their home. No matter the age of the child, it is important to involve them in the process.
Children’s input is usually quite important in the overall assessment of a family’s readiness to adopt a child as well as helping the child prepare for a new sibling’s arrival.
The person conducting the study will interview the applicants and all family members, including any children, to assess the applicants’ parenting abilities, their attitudes toward adoption, and other social and personal characteristics. Personal references may also be contacted for further information.
Children (whether they joined a family through birth, foster care, adoption, marriage or prior relationship) will be included in the home study in some way whether or not they reside in the applicant’s home full time. Children may be asked to write a statement about their feelings toward adoption. If they are too young, they may be asked to draw a picture. Social workers will want to know about children’s interests, hobbies, how they are doing in school and how their behavior is rewarded or disciplined. Children will be involved in interviews, and may meet with the social worker individually. If families have adult children living outside the home, they will be interviewed during this process. The emphasis will be on how the children see a new sibling (or siblings) fitting into the family and whether they are prepared to share your time and attention.
There are many wonderful books to share with children waiting to become siblings. Click here for a list of recommended books.