Potential Red Flags in an Adoption Home Study

Adoption Home Study Disqualification

The adoption home study can be a source of education and enlightenment as you discern what you and your spouse bring to parenting. Knowledge and preparation are the keys to making sure that you give yourself and your family the best chance to have your home study approved.

If your home study is denied, you will not be able to adopt or foster a child. While you may appeal the results of your home study, there is no guarantee that you will be granted a reversed decision. Here are some reasons that your home study may not be approved.

Criminal Record

A prior felony conviction is grounds for the denial of your home study. Other convictions or arrests will also be taken into account. The goal of a home study is to ensure that the child(ren) are placed in a safe home, any convictions that indicate that a child would be unsafe around you or anyone in your household will result in a denial.

Crimes that will result in disqualification:

  • Substantiated Child Abuse
  • Sex-trafficking
  • Neglect
  • Child Pornography
  • Violent Crimes (including assault and murder)

If a prospective adoptive parent is dishonest about their criminal history, the mandatory background checks conducted during the home study will reveal any prior charges and convictions.

Health Concerns

Prospective adoptive parents must be in good health to adopt a child. Both physical and mental health will be assessed throughout the home study process. It is important to disclose any conditions or diseases that may limit your physical abilities.

Additionally, if you have any significant problems with mental health you may be asked to provide a letter from your doctor or therapist that indicates your mental health issues are managed well and are being treated successfully.

Denial of a home study based on health concerns only occurs when it is determined that as a prospective parent you would be too limited to adequately care for the child. Age may also play a role.

Financial Concerns

As adopting a child means assuming all of the financial responsibilities that come with raising a child, prospective parents will have their financial situation assessed. If it is determined that the family’s finances do not reflect an ability to take on the financial responsibilities of a child the home study will not be approved.

Dishonesty

It is the duty of prospective adoptive parents to be honest in their disclosure of information during their home study. Those who purposely withhold information or are intentionally dishonest will not be approved.

A home study requires prospective parents to diligently provide information, complete documents, and fulfill all of the appropriate requirements. Prospective adoptive parents who do not complete paperwork in a timely manner will not only delay the speed of their home study, this could negatively affect their chances of having their home study approved.

Home Deemed Unsafe for Children

Your home must be in livable condition. It must be up to code and be habitable for those who are living there. If your home is deemed unsafe for children, then you will be denied approval of your home study. Here are some safety concerns that may impact your chances for approval.

  • Firearms – While owning firearms will not be a hindrance during your home study, improper storage of your firearms raise red flags. Firearms should be stored unloaded in a locked gun safe, with ammunition stored and locked separately. Children should not be able to easily access the locker or firearms.
  • Smoke Detectors – Your home should feature working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors according to your local fire code. Before your home study, it is important to check that all of your detectors are in good condition by using their test feature. If your home does not have working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, you should have new ones installed immediately. You must also have a minimum of one five-pound fire extinguisher with easy access.
  • Drugs – If anyone in your household is using or in the possession of illegal drugs your home study will be denied. If the drugs in your household have been legally prescribed by a doctor, then they should be stored in a locked cupboard or container, or stored out of the reach of children.

Issues with a Member of Your Household

All of the members of your family will be assessed during your home study. Any adults over the age of 18 will have to undergo a background check. If the background check turns up any criminal history, or any information that indicates that it would be unsafe to place a child in the home, you may be denied.

Adoption Choices of Colorado

For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact Adoption Choices of Colorado. We can be reached via our website or our phones: 303-670-4401.

Make an Impact

CrowdriseAdoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.

However, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.

About the Author

Davina WardDavina grew up in the outskirts of New York City, before eventually moving to Buffalo, New York at the age of 10. Her passion for adoption comes from her own experiences of being in foster care and being an adoptee herself. She hopes to help others to understand the intricacies of adoption and encourage them to consider it as an option.

Davina is a proud Geneseo Knights alum having graduated in 2018. She has been writing for as long as she can remember and chose to pursue a degree in English with hopes of making her hobby a career. Thus far, she has enjoyed her time as an intern for Adoption Choices Inc. and looks forward to a bright future in writing. When she is not writing, she enjoys spending time with her family, building websites, and making lists.

 

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References:

“The Adoption Home Study Process” Child Information Gateway. https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/f_homstu.pdf

Strom, Rachel. “Home Study 101” Adoption Choices of Colorado https://www.adoptionchoicesofnevada.org/home-study-101

“6 Reasons People Fail the Home Study” Angel Adoption. https://www.angeladoptioninc.com/blog/6-reasons-people-fail-the-home-study/

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