A home study is one of the important qualifying steps in the adoption process. This study investigates the appropriateness of the potential home along with the possible family’s fitness to adopt. Home studies are required for every adoption, whether it is international or domestic, private or foster care, infant or older child. While many home studies don’t have any issues, occasionally, there are some circumstances in which a potential adoption family fails their home study.
According to the Arizona Home Study Requirement Law, Rev. Stat. § 8-105, the investigation and report to the court must be completed within 90 days after the application for certification has been accepted.
Within 60 days after receiving the investigation report, the court shall certify the applicant as acceptable or unacceptable to adopt children based on the investigation report and recommendations of the report.
There are several online sites that can help you prepare for the home study or provide information regarding adoption. If you have been denied, you will receive a written notification of the denial, along with an explanation of how you can petition the court for review.
Here are Stuart and Blackwell’s 5 Potential Reasons Why You Might Fail a Home Visit:
1. Felony Conviction
If there is someone within the potential adoptive family convicted of felony child abuse or neglect or offenses involving either drug or alcohol abuse and domestic violence, adoption is normally prohibited.
Potential adoptive parents are subjected to background checks before the home study begins. These background checks will help determine if either parent has been convicted of one of these felonies. If either parent has a minor conviction in their background, it usually is not held against that person as long as they are honest and disclose before the study begins.
2. Investigation of Other Family Members
All family members in the potential adoptive home will be investigated. Every adult that lives in the home is subject to a criminal background check. The adoption could have some roadblocks or even be denied prior to the home study, depending on what is discovered.
3. Health Issues
If a potential adoptive parent suffers from a life-threatening illness or disease, that is another reason for a denied application after the home visit.
Adoption agencies will not approve a family if there are serious concerns relating to one of the parents not going to be there forever for the child. Serious illnesses can also have a drastic impact on the dynamic of the home and the ability of the potential parent to parent the child properly.
If either parent has a psychological disorder that impacts the quality of their life or ability to parent the child, the home study could be rejected.
However, circumstances could change if the potential parent is in regular therapy, on medication, and has a letter from their therapist or prescribing physician regarding treatment.
Home studies also require that the potential parents disclose all medication they are taking. If medication is needed for a physical or psychological illness, a doctor’s statement should be provided. As always, being upfront and honest about all things will play into your favor.
4. Financial Troubles
Any adoption agency is not going to ask potential parents to be rich, but they will be asked to provide a detailed account of their financial situation. A potential family does need to be capable of providing financially for the child. Serious financial issues can result in a failed home study.
5, Lack of Honesty
Honesty is the best policy, especially working with an adoption agency before and during a home study. Do not lie about anything, especially the criminal background, medical history, or financials. Any omissions or lies that the agency discovers can result in a home study failure.
Being cooperative during a home study is essential as well. If the social worker feels like a family is not cooperating, this can result in a denial.
Contact Stuart & Blackwell Today!
Every adoption is as unique as the adoptive parents themselves, but the journey doesn’t have to be harrowing. At Stuart & Blackwell, we understand just how stressful the adoption process can be. We’re here to help you find the path to adoption that’s right for you.
We specialize in Arizona adoption law and we have the experience, knowledge, and compassion to help you welcome your child into your loving home. Contact us at (480) 420-2900 today for your free consultation.