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What does a pre-adoption home study entail in Georgia?

A little over a month ago, we talked about the process prospective parents must go through if they are thinking about adopting a child through the Georgia Department of Human Services. There were several steps that must be completed in such situations, from the first inquiry, through a pre-adoption training course and several more up to the finalization of the adoption. One of the steps that may cause some of the most trepidation on prospective parents is that of the home study by DHS case workers. It is natural to feel a bit nervous about having one's fitness to be a parent evaluated by a stranger. Let's take a look on a very basic level at what such a home study entails.

The rules and regulations for Georgia's child placement agency require that there be a written evaluation of every prospective adoptive family using the agency's placement services. This is accomplished by three separate visits by a case worker on three different days, at least one of which must be at the home itself. The case worker must interview the prospective parent or parents, as well as all other family members in the home. The family needs to be interviewed together and separately.

The home study will record basic demographic information about the family members, as well as a physical description and information about each person's education, social outlets and personal characteristics. The case worker will also note marital histories and family patterns for the individuals involved, as well as evaluating motivation for adoption, parenting practices and expectations and recording any experience the family members have with children.

The above are simply the first basic parts of the home study process. More in-depth questions will be asked as well, which we will cover in a separate post. As can be seen, adopting a child of whom one is not a biological parent can be complicated. Those considering such a process may wish to protect their legal rights by considering consulting an experienced Georgia family attorney.

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