If you plan to adopt a child in Florida, you’ll need to complete the home study process to be approved to adopt. The purpose of a home study is to ensure that you’re emotionally, physically, and financially prepared to adopt and raise a child. If you’re searching for a home study provider in Florida, look no further. The experienced adoption professionals at Lifetime are here to help you complete this vital step in the adoption process!
Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is licensed by the State of Florida to complete home studies for the purpose of adoption within all counties of the state. It is the first step and the most vital component of the adoption process. We are a full-service agency, meaning we are a licensed child-placing agency. So, our services range from helping birth mothers with their adoption plans and helping you find your child to completing your home study and post-placement services.
What Does a Home Study Involve?
Your home study is a legal document that confirms your ability to parent and adopt a child. A licensed social worker completes it. Every home study must address certain components, including background checks, medical reports, employment verification, references, financial verification, and a home visit.
It also includes background information, such as your family and marital relationships, motivation to adopt, parenting style, growing up, education, and more. It can feel very personal, and it should – after all, the writer is responsible for recommending adoption to a court of law and placing a child in your home for adoption.
There is also an education component to the home study. In Florida, it is recommended that you complete 21 hours of training on subjects that include parenting skills, first aid skills, safety, the legal issues with adoption, and other subjects that pertain to adopting children.
It is good to choose subjects that correspond to your adoption preferences. For example, if you are open to adopting a child that was drug-exposed during pregnancy or your racial preferences include options for an inter-racial adoption, you might choose subjects that address those scenarios.
Lifetime provides you with one-on-one training and a membership website with exclusive webinars designed to educate you on all aspects of the adoption process. Lifetime’s adoption webinars are approved by the Florida Department of Children and Families as part of Lifetime’s home study curriculum for adoptive parents. Your social worker can also provide you with course recommendations once they get to know you and your adoption preferences and interests.
Your home visit is something most hopeful adoptive parents worry about, but it is not something to fear. It is always scheduled in advance and actually focuses more on the other parts of the home study than your actual home.
Of course, you want your home to be presentable, but we want you to be real. You don’t need to panic over perfection. We want to see how you actually live and ensure that it is a safe environment with ample space to grow your family.
During that visit, your social worker will conduct interviews with you, your spouse, and anyone else living in your home. Your social worker will also provide education about the entire adoption process.
It is an excellent opportunity for you to ask questions and get to know your home study provider. While your social worker is there to assess and evaluate, they can also provide guidance and support throughout the adoption process. Our goal is to seamlessly make the process both educational and enjoyable.
After Placement Visits from Your Home Study Provider in Florida
After you bring your adopted child home, your Florida home study provider will return within one week for the first post-placement visit. After that, the visits continue monthly until your adoption finalization.
Post-placement visits are done to check in on the child’s health and development and make sure that everyone is adjusting well. Your social worker can answer any questions and provide you with resources or support should you need it.
A written report with your social worker’s recommendation of adoption is then provided to the adoption attorney to include when submitting the adoption petition paperwork to a judge for review, and ultimately finalizing your adoption!
Lifetime’s Florida Home Study Services include:
- Private Adoption Home Studies
- Relative Home Studies
- Non-Relative Home Studies
- Intervention Home Studies
- Out of State Transfer Home Study Updates
- Immediate/Emergency Home Studies
- Post-Adoption Service Reports
- Home Study Updates
We are happy to answer any questions you have about using Lifetime Adoption as your home study provider in Florida. If you have questions or would like to employ our home study services, please call Lifetime Adoption Agency at 727-493-0933 or complete the form below. We look forward to serving you!
Editor’s Note: This article was originally published on March 4, 2014, and has since been updated.
Linda Rotz, CWCM-S, CWCM-Trainer, ACC, is the Director of Adoption Services at Lifetime. Linda has worked in the field of adoption for 20 years within the child welfare/foster care system in Florida. She has degrees in Mass Communications and Human Development, and completed graduate studies in social work.
Due to her extensive expertise, Linda was called upon to write adoption procedures and training materials in Florida. She is certified as an Adoption Specialist, Child Welfare Case Manager Supervisor and Child Welfare Trainer in the state of Florida.