As part of the adoption process, most states will require that potential adoptive parents go though a home study. This is true even if a home study was already conducted prior to becoming a foster parent or kinship caregiver. A criminal background check may also be conducted in conjunction with a home study. As part of the home study process, a possible adoptive parent may be interviewed several times.
These interviews are conducted to help the social worker working with prospective parents to get a better sense of their experience with children. It may also help the social worker get a better idea of what type of children would work best in the household. For instance, some people would do better with older children or just a single child as opposed to young siblings.
Finally, a home inspection will take place to ensure that a child has a safe place to live. Inspectors will look for evidence of working fire alarms, childproof locks and proper storage of all cleaners or other poisons. Essentially, the potential parents need to show that the home is free from hazards that may put the child in danger. Other issues to consider may include the proper storage of firearms and making sure a pool is fenced or otherwise covered when not in use.
Anyone who wishes to become an adoptive parent may wish to seek out legal counsel prior to beginning the process. An attorney may be able to work with state agencies to increase the odds that an individual's home is seen as safe for a child to live in. Legal counsel may also be able to explain the adoption process such as the time frame involved as well as any costs related to adopting a child.