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tell me about the home study? why do some call it "invasive"

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 

i have been reading old treads, to have something to do :) and i have read a number of people commenting on the homestudy and feeling it was "invasive" on some level .....so tell me about it -- how deeply into your past do they go?  What do they generally ask?

 

i don't suppose there is a website anywhere of what the normal questions are?

 

Aimee 

post #2 of 17
Ours was not particularly invasive, IMO, and I am a pretty private person.

We were asked about our upbringing, how we were disciplined, and how we planned to discipline our kids. We were also asked about our marriage, our parents' marriages, and our feelings about certain aspects of the relationships. I don't have a lot of baggage, though, so maybe that's why I didn't feel it was that bad. I'd hate to have to go into detail with a stranger about stuff that could be a trigger for me -- IDK how much they really ask about stuff like that beyond, "Did you receive counseling and do you feel that you can parent a child despite your past experience?"
post #3 of 17

I didn't feel like it was invasive because I had prepared to bare my soul. I was actually pretty surprised in some areas that they didn't dig deeper into things. But then again, there were some things that I didn't really expect and hadn't prepared for - mostly areas where my husband and I hadn't discussed earlier enough to come to a decision about (for example, how strict or lenient will we be with a child if they don't some of our strong beliefs).

 

And the way we did it was foster-adopt, so a lot of stuff came out during the training and I didn't even realize it was part of the home study until later. So mostly it felt very comfortable and not at all invasive. Ovbiously, things like talking about our own childhood abuse or neglect is going to feel invasive no matter what - but you can understand why they ask and of course that's going to differ for each individual.

 

As far as the home visit, I was amazed they didn't want a cleaner, more organized perfect home. They were really just looking for safety stuff like working fire extinguishers, windows that open, clear pathways from room to room, working plumbing, etc. And then randomly they'd open cupboards and closets to peek around. We had to make a few adjustments (get a fire ladder for upstairs, larger fire extinguishers, etc.) and then we were approved. There are also specific rules about pets and where they can eat that we had to adjust (an old weird rule that pets can't eat in the kitchen).

 

Here is a list of most of the documents we were required to share. That gives you an example of the areas where they start digging. They will want you to explain any therapy or criminal history, that sort of thing. Obviously, the less of that you have the easier and less invasive it feels.

 

Copy of Marriage Certificate (if applicable)    
Copy of all Divorce Decrees (if applicable)    
Copy of Death certificates (for former spouse, if applicable)
Fingerprints 
Name, Address and Phone Numbers of all Therapists/Counselors (if applicable) 
Letter of Explanation for all Therapist/Counselors (if applicable)   
Previous year’s tax return 
Copy of Bankruptcy Discharge (if applicable)
Physical Exam by an MD    
Court records (if either applicant has criminal history)
Explanation of criminal history (if applicable) 
Child Support Orders (if applicable)

CPR Certification

Pet vaccine records

References from friends

post #4 of 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Momma Aimee View Post

i have been reading old treads, to have something to do :) and i have read a number of people commenting on the homestudy and feeling it was "invasive" on some level .....so tell me about it -- how deeply into your past do they go?  What do they generally ask?

 

i don't suppose there is a website anywhere of what the normal questions are?

 

Aimee 

 

I'm just a very private person, so someone asking personal questions is uncomfortable for me. The situation with my oldest child's father and i is somewhat complicated in terms of the circumstances of his conception/birth and really had no bearing on anything but of course its historical info that they need to put in the HS...it just felt weird to talk about since it was so many years earlier and private. Not a HUGE deal of course but still...

 

Some people have to talk about problems they may have had in the past regarding their marriage(s), employment, mental health or addiction issues, criminal histories and that can feel invasive.

 

As i said i'm very private, so just having someone IN my house (even friends...just ask heatherdeg!) is a challenge for me, very sort of uncomfortable and weird feeling. Thats just me though. Many people have a much more "open door" kind of life...i strive for that but im certainly not there yet.

post #5 of 17

They asked us very personal questions, and they separated my husband and I to ask them. It was very personal. They wanted to know everything, and even asked about our sex life, and if we watched porn. I found it as comfortable as a pap smear. We passed, and it went well, but not my favourite part of the adoption process. 

 

ETA: I do come from a troubled pass, and they dont care about that so much as how you dealt with it. If they think you have unresolved issues they may ask you to do some counselling before passing you. 

post #6 of 17

They wanted to know everything, and even asked about our sex life, and if we watched porn.

 

 

jaw.gif

post #7 of 17

I didn't mind the homestudy process so much - I felt it was sort of invasive, but rightly so. I was glad to discuss any blips (I had a history of domestic violence that made my past look unstable), and talk about child-rearing plans and attitudes. I felt it was good for them to be screening as best they could, and good for me to think about specific problems that might arise.

 

What felt truly invasive to me was living in a fishbowl as a foster parent. The constant feeling of wondering what would the caseworker think if she came in right now. She had the right to visit unannounced, and occassionally did. What if the house was a mess, we were still in bed, or whatever? I felt I had to justify or at least explain every parenting decision. Although we were never "caught", I always felt like someone somewhere was watching, disapproving. When we were no longer fostering, after 4 years, I really appreciated the relief.
 

post #8 of 17
Thread Starter 

is asking about your sex life (like if you watch porn) a COMMON thing in home studys -- i think DH might faint!

post #9 of 17
We weren't asked about our sex life much beyond "are you satisfied with that part of your marriage?" No mention of porn!
post #10 of 17
I don't remember being asked about our sex life except as part of questions about fertility.
post #11 of 17

They didn't ask us anything about our sex life. Which I am thankful for, I think DH would have died of embarrassment LOL

Ours was pretty standard and sounds like most the other answers

post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by MommyKelly View Post

They didn't ask us anything about our sex life. Which I am thankful for, I think DH would have died of embarrassment LOL

Ours was pretty standard and sounds like most the other answers

that is my worry -- he'll died or not want to go forward LOL

post #13 of 17

I was nervous going in, but it was not totally invasive. The application was pretty extensive, so they knew a lot about us going in.

 

Recently for our DD's monthly visit, they asked how we made time for each other and if our marriage was good. I think they wanted to make sure that things were still good with two young kids in the house. I understood the reasoning behind it.
 

post #14 of 17

I was nervous about it going in, but I'm pretty much an open book, so I wasn't too worried.  We were not asked about our sex life.  That would have caught me off guard.  We were asked about how we resolve conflict, what traits we like/didn't like in each other, etc.  They asked our daughter questions too and I was a little nervous about that because she was 4 at the time and you never know what a four-year-old might say.  I actually never found out what she said exactly.  

post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by WifeMomChiro View Post

I was nervous about it going in, but I'm pretty much an open book, so I wasn't too worried.  We were not asked about our sex life.  That would have caught me off guard.  We were asked about how we resolve conflict, what traits we like/didn't like in each other, etc.  They asked our daughter questions too and I was a little nervous about that because she was 4 at the time and you never know what a four-year-old might say.  I actually never found out what she said exactly.  

yes i am a tad nervous about what my 5 and 7 year will say -- but i suspect they will talk about about superheros and not really answer the questions.  :)  

post #16 of 17

Ours was very basic. We had to name each parent and sibling (I have 7 of them, so I used extra sheets of paper!) and state what our relationship was like with them growing up and what our relationship is like now. They asked if we had ever sought therapy. I don't have any skeletons in my closet, so I had no problem with it. Even if there were some things that were less than savory, that wouldn't have precluded us from adopting and I knew that, so it didn't worry me. I knew someone with some arrests as a young adult and another person who was a recovering alcoholic who adopted successfully.

 

This was through the state for foster-adoption, so I see that some private agencies get more in-depth. (They asked about porn!?!? Wow!)

 

I do think it depends on your personality whether or not you find it invasive. I'm pretty open. I blog, yammer on about my life on social networks, am used to having people coming and going in the house. My sister and her husband adopted at the same time with the same home study process and my brother-in-law did find it invasive. I think it's just his personality to feel like people walking through his house were judging him, when in reality they were just looking to make sure the place was safe.

 

My advice to people about to go through a home study is to remember the purpose. They're checking to see if you can provide a safe and loving home. They don't expect perfection.

post #17 of 17
Thread Starter 

thanks everyone

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