ABC Adoption Services has been providing services to adoptive families in Virginia since 1993. ABC is fully licensed in the state of Virginia and is also Hague accredited. In 2005, ABC became a subsidiary of Carolina Adoption Services (CAS).
Our Virginia Social Work Coordinator, Heather Gordon, is the contact person for families interested in VA home study services. ABC has highly experienced, professional contract social workers across the state to assist you in negotiating the intricacies of both international and domestic adoptions. We work with families adopting through CAS as well as families working towards placement with agencies around the country. Our goal is to help your dreams of family come true through adoption.
Your Home Study
A home study is designed to help your social worker learn more about your ability to parent and provide a stable home, to teach you about adoption and its affect on children and families, and to prepare you to parent a child whose experiences and history are very different from your own. Everyone who hopes to adopt must have an approved home study. The process takes three months on average. A social worker will need to make at least one visit to your home. The typical number of meetings with the social worker is 4-6.
Items You May Need for a Virginia Home Study
Specific requirements for home studies vary by state, country and agency. The following items are commonly required during the home study process:
- Certified copies of vital records (View the Checklist)
- An autobiographical statement — a statement you create about your life history based on an outline provided by ABC.
- Financial verification (usually includes employer statement, verification of insurance coverage, and tax return.)
- A statement of health provided by a physician, which might include lab test results.
- Written references from friends, family, neighbors, etc.
- Background checks. In Virginia, background clearances can be no more than 90 days old when the home study is finalized.
Home Study Education
Education for prospective adoptive parents is required as part of the home study process. These trainings help prospective parents better understand the needs of children waiting for families and help families decide what type of child or children they could parent most effectively. Training is required before the home study can be completed. The state of Virginia requires all adoptive families to meet state-specific educational competencies. ABC partners with an organization that offers educational courses, avaiable online, which are specifically designed to meet both state and Hague requirements.
Questions You May Be Asked During Your Home Study
During home study meetings with your worker, you can expect to answer questions about your background, your education, your job history, your marriage, your leisure activities, your faith, and your experiences with children. For instance, the worker may ask:
- What is your family like, and how will you integrate a new child into it? How will your extended family treat an adopted child?
- How is your marriage? How do you make decisions, resolve conflicts, and express your feelings?
- Why do you want to adopt?
- What is your home like?
- What is your neighborhood like?
- How do you plan to address discipline issues with your new child?
- What was your family like when you were growing up? How were you raised? Are you close to your parents?
- Where do you work? Is your schedule flexible enough to accommodate the responsibilities that come with parenting?
- What sort of child care arrangements will you make for your child?
The goal of a home study is to help the worker locate the best possible home for each child placed and make good matches between parents and children. If you have questions about the study, ask your social worker or agency.
Adoptions in Virginia:
If you are adopting domestically and live in Virginia, we will partner with your placing agency or attorney to provide domestic adoption home study and post adoption services.
If you are adopting internationally and live in Virginia, we can provide home study and placement services to your family, with ABC Adoption Services as your home study provider and Carolina Adoption Services as your primary provider. We can also work with other reputable placing agencies. Carolina Adoption Services is COA accredited and Hague accredited. Each of these accreditations ensures that the services provided to you will meet the highest standards. In some international adoptions, one or both of these accreditations may be required. Our home study team works closely with many placing agencies around the country and with U.S. Immigration, thus possessing the knowledge and experience needed to help you navigate the intricacies of either an international or domestic adoption.
Post Adoption Services in Virginia:
Our social workers have many years of experience assisting families with post placement reports and support services. If ABC is your home study agency you can often be assigned the same social worker to re-connect with your family for post-adoption.
Services can be provided on domestic and international adoptions until the adoption is final. Services are provided on international adoptions according to the requirements of the agency, country, or needs of the family. Post placement reports are done in a family’s home to assure the overall well being of the family and child.
Let us help finalize your adoption! If you are interested in post-adoption services please contact Julie Curry.