If you are someone considering adoption, you may have some fears you just can’t shake. For most adoptions, an approved home study from a state licensed adoption agency is required before a child can be placed in your home. A home study includes background clearances, a home check, adoption education, and an adoption professional’s review of your current financial stability, physical health, and background.
Whether you are concerned about money or your health history, it is important to remember that not all of your fears are realities that should hinder your pursuit of adopting. Keep reading to learn some of the obstacles that make families think twice about adopting – and why you should not allow these concerns to stop you.
Adoption is notorious for being expensive. In fact, this is what hinders many wonderful parents from adopting. While it is important to make sure you can afford to take care of a child, don’t let the expenses stop you from taking the first step. One thing that is important to remember is that the different fees and charges come over time, so you don’t have to pay for the entire adoption at once!
There are many sources for raising money for adoption, whether it be from family, friends, loans from the bank, or even churches. Some employers provide reimbursement for adoption, and there are many grants available for adoption if you are willing to put the time in to apply for them. Also, many adoptive parents will be able to claim a federal adoption tax credit for the tax year that the adoption was finalized (subject to the tax code for the applicable year).
An intimidating question you may face is if you have, or have had, any major health or mental health issues. Most health issues are not a cause for denial of a home study. Home study providers are mainly concerned that your health issues have been appropriately addressed and that you are currently stable and able to provide a healthy and caring environment for a child. This includes if you have any history of mental health issues. For example, if you have been treated for anxiety or depression in the past, do not let that discourage you from applying to adopt. Adoption professionals would much rather see that you sought assistance rather than let a mental health issue go untreated.
The most important thing is to be open about your health and health history with your home study provider. No one expects you to have perfect health, but home study providers do expect you to be honest. Most home study providers will ask for a statement from your treatment provider(s) regarding your fitness for parenting. As long as you are not terminal, do not have a contagious disease, and are not an active alcohol or drug abuser, your current health or health history is not likely to prevent you from adopting.
If you have been divorced a few times, you may believe an adoption professional will deem you an unfit parent. However, your home study provider only cares that your current marriage is stable and happy. As long as you are a loving parent with a healthy partner, past divorces should not be an issue. If you are divorced and not remarried, your home study provider only cares that you are stable and have the resources to raise a child as a single parent.
While you think a bad credit history may prevent you from adopting a child, you may be relieved to learn that most adoption professionals don’t check your credit score or history. Your home study provider will want to verify your employment and finances, and will want to know your debt to income ratio, but having poor credit in and of itself, should not prevent you from adopting. Of course, you should always make sure you can afford to care for a child, but you should not let credit concerns hinder you from starting a family.
If you are a pet lover and worried that an adoption professional will deny you because of your furry friends, there is nothing to be worried about. As long as your animals are up-to-date on their vaccinations and are not aggressive, you should not have any trouble with your home study.
While you may think certain aspects of the adoption process are scary, never let your own worries bring you down before you start. As long as you are completely honest and forthcoming with adoption professionals and home study providers, you likely have nothing to worry about. An issue you may think will prevent you from becoming a parent may not be an issue at all.
If you would like to discuss your concerns with a Florida licensed adoption attorney, call Tammi J. Driver at (727) 800-6681.