Adoption Consultants can conduct your home study if you are a resident of Nebraska. A home study is performed to ensure that you would be capable and appropriate parents to an adopted child. After your home study application is received and approved, you will either be given or sent a Home Study packet with explicit instructions concerning completing the paperwork and training necessary for the home study. Your worker will meet with you for a minimum of six hours (usually in three separate visits), interviewing you, gathering information, and providing adoption educational material. Requirements of a typical home study in Nebraska are as follows:
On at least one occasion during the home study process, your home study worker will visit with you in your home. We will be looking at the physical state of your home to ensure it is an appropriate environment for children. Having your home perfect is not essential – simple cleanliness and sanitation are most important as is insuring the home meets state housing codes, i.e. smoke detectors, safety railings, fences around pools, etc. We will also require that firearms be stored in a locked gun safe or cabinet.
These typically take place in the home or office. The home study worker will meet with each individual living in the home to assess how well a new child will be received and accepted into the family. The interviews can be lengthy and involved as you will be asked about your background, how you were raised, your marriage, parenting skills, lifestyle, and numerous other questions focused on assessing each individual. When meeting with your home study worker, some of the discussion will focus on your adoption goals, specifically; the race, age, gender, etc. of the child you are hoping to adopt. If you are open to a child requiring special needs — you and your family’s abilities to raise a child requiring these needs will be assessed as well. Your final home study report will specifically state the characteristics of a child you are deemed qualified to adopt. If you want to change these traits after your home study has been completed, you will be required to update your home study to verify that you are qualified.
There are state and federal requirements regarding criminal background checks and child abuse/neglect background checks for potential adoptive parents. Know that if you have a past history, it does not necessarily mean that you will be unable to qualify for adoption. Nebraska requires that each prospective adoptive family provide financial information and background. Your wealth is not important, however; your financial security and ability to be fiscally stable is. Tax returns, financial statements, and income verification are a few of the documents that will be requested during the home study process. A recent physical exam and statement from a physician or healthcare practitioner confirming that you are essentially healthy, have a normal life expectancy, and are physically and mentally able to care for a child is required. Existing health conditions do not necessarily prohibit you from adoption but will still need to be noted by your physician with a statement that the condition is treatable under a doctor’s supervision.
Each prospective adoptive parent will be required to complete a minimum of 15 hours of adoption education/training. The education/training is a combination of online courses, books, and videos. The focus of the education/training is not on the adoption process itself, but rather adoptive parenting, grief and loss in adoption, identity, attachment, openness and trans-racial adoption.
Once everything is completed and compiled, the home study provider will assemble the final home study report. Your completed home study will typically be required to initiate any process with an adoption agency or attorney. The timeframe from when we meet with you for your initial interview, to the completion of your home study, is usually eight to ten weeks. The length of time can vary based upon your timely completion of paperwork and availability to meeting with your home study worker.