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Home Study Anxiety

My husband and I have been excited to begin the adoption process from day 1 and as we gather all of the paperwork my anxiety is starting to mound. I have searched different questions that may be asked but I still feel like I may be thrown a curve ball that may potentially get us denied. One of these being my past bout with depression. I have never been ashamed of my treatment for depression but now I feel like it may be a mark against us :(  Can anyone share their home study stories and/or advice? Thanks smile


We were nervous and had those things that we were not proud of in our closets too.
Honestly most agencies will give you a list of what they want to see in the house, add in a good dash of common sense and the house part will be just fine.

As far as personally we had a season of our lives where we drank too much during a time of great loss.  We realized it and delt with it and moved on.  When the lady came for our HS we talked about it for a long time. She saw that we were very honest and had personally made the choice to stop. By the end she was fine with it and it never ended up in the written version of the HS. She felt that because we had been responsible enough to deal with this and other issues in a mature manner that we would make a great role model for a child who might have issues themselves.  I am sure that most agencies will be fine as long as they do not feel it to be a current problem that would harm a child.

Posted by angelhlb on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:22am

Don’t worry about it! The homestudy stuff sounds scary, but afterward you’ll honestly laugh at how simple it was and how you worried about silly things. Our social worker told us that basically the only thing that she was looking for was that we had a safe house and were basically sane. Apparently the only time someone failed was because they were hoarders and had dog poop literally everywhere inside the house. They might point out things you need to consider, like a fence if you have a pool, or things like that.

As far as the depression treatment, never be ashamed of that! My husband is a psychologist, and also had treatment for anxiety/depression at one point in college. All we had to do was explain why he sought treatment (multiple family members had died that year in the middle of finals, no wonder!) and what his current outlook was. I think they’re actually more impressed when you take the initiative to seek help rather than get worse. It’s sad how the stigma of mental treatment gets so bad that people don’t ever get the help they need. So just be honest and it will show that you know how to care for yourself!

The only area that it might come up as a potential problem is if you’re adopting internationally. Sadly, some countries exclude you if you’ve ever taken any medication for mental things, which let us out even though it was a perfectly reasonable situation and took place years ago. That is frustrating! I’m not sure if there’s a way around it, but we wanted to adopt domestically anyway, so we didn’t look into it too deeply. But if you’re doing domestic adoption, it really won’t affect you other than maybe being asked about it.

In other words, don’t worry! The homestudy is REALLY not scary at all. Try to go into it pretending that the social worker is just a friend who wants to hear your story, and about how excited you are to be a parent.

Posted by artiste on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:27am

I have also dealt with depression in my past (and present).  I believe that the skills I have learned through therapy, and the coping skills I practice every day, are skills that I can pass on to an adopted child who may experience grief at any point of their lives.  Be confident that you have the capacity for love and that you can help a child overcome any trials that they may have in life. 

I know that there are still stigmas surrounding therapy, but just be open that you are okay, and that you have so much to offer. 

Don’t worry too much (easier said that done, sometimes).  Do what you can and prepare as much as possible.  Be honest about yourself and your family.  Focus on your strengths and what you know you can handle and explain why (all the ups and downs that got you to where you are).  Know your limitations. Realize that no one is perfect.  Everyone has struggles, but that is what makes us stronger. 

Best of luck and love to you!

Posted by KelleyJo on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:39am

In most cases by the time you get to that is it just a formality.

I know it is hard to believe until you have done it, but more times than not it is very casual, just asking about you and your spouse and less concern for the house o long as it is a pretty normal home and safe for a child.

More important is the background check.

Best of luck.

Posted by Private And Foster Mom on Feb 19, 2014 at 12:47am

The first time we adopted, both my husband and I were on meds for depression. I also have a health condition/disability. I had to get a doctor’s note stating that I could handle the day to day chores of caring for a baby. My husband didn’t need anything extra. The second time, he was still on the depression meds, as he is clinically depressed, and again, he didn’t need anything extra for the home study.

Posted by rredhead on Feb 19, 2014 at 3:12am

Thank you all very much! All of your comments really helped me and I truly appreciate it smile

Posted by MrsB on Feb 19, 2014 at 5:26am

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