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The Adoption Home Study’s Emotional Journey

The overwhelming love and emotion that new parents feel during the adoption process are palpable. You’ve spent months reading your home, enduring the home study process, preparing family, friends, jobs—and yourselves—for what’s to come. Passed the tests, had the conversations, checked the boxes. But one thing many adoptive parents forget to consider is how this process, and the incredible changes on the horizon, will impact their relationship. Amidst the many highs and lows, what does a couple need to preserve and protect their own relationship throughout this process? 

One aspect that could trigger tough questions is the home study. An adoption home study can be a revealing assessment. Be prepared for questions related to ideal parenting styles, discipline techniques, preference in education, and more. These types of questions can get lost in the process but are extremely important in the big picture. No stone is left unturned during the home study process, and it can bring hopes, joys, fears, and insecurities to the surface.

In your home study, you’ll explore topics such as: 

  • Finances: If you and your partner are on the same page regarding finances, that’s great! If not, prepare to face these questions head-on and find your way to a compromising solution. Disclosure, transparency, and synchronicity are critical.
  • Childhood and family history: These questions will explore all aspects of your childhood(s), including parenting styles, trauma, history of mental illness, substance abuse, etc. This isn’t always comfortable—and you may learn new things about your partner and yourself. Creating a safe space to have these discussions and process their outcomes is non-negotiable. 
  • Religious and political preferences: You may be on the same page here, or not. What’s important is that you come to a mutual understanding about how you’ll raise your child in a way that’s respectful of your similarities, differences, and your child’s eventual autonomy. Separate views don’t have to cloud the way you collectively parent, especially when you’re working with open dialogue and mutual care. 

Completing the home study and taking another step in your adoption journey is a shared accomplishment—a big one! Be present and patient with all the feelings that arise, including love, compassion, frustration, and confusion. 

Here are some helpful resources to prepare you for your home study process:

Home Study Readiness

Relationship Preparation