For AOW social workers, home study interviews are a valuable opportunity to get to know the members of our outreach program and for you to get to know us. The time spent together helps us as we work together to help you build your family through adoption. Prior to the home study interviews AOW asks for a lot of forms and documentation—we utilize the home study interviews to ask you questions based on the information you have provided. We will ask you about how you were raised, about your employment and finances, about you hobbies and interests and about your relationships with your partner/spouse and family.
AOW social workers will ask you what open adoption means to you and what you envision your relationship with a child’s birth family will look like. We will also ask you about your thoughts on parenting and specifically parenting an adopted child. AOW provides the following list of questions to home study applicants to help them prepare for our meetings.
IMPACT OF ADOPTION ON PARENTING/FAMILY DYNAMICS
- Explain the concept of “permanence” in adoption for the adoptive child and parents.
- Explain why it is helpful for a child who is adopted to have their adoptive family acknowledge the existence of a child’s birth family?
- What impact do you see adoption having on your significant relationships, especially the relationship with your co-parent?
- Explain the additional parenting issues present with adopted children vs. those with birth children.
- What parenting skills do you feel you currently have?
- What are signs of family stress?
- What coping mechanisms will you use to deal with family stress?
TALKING ABOUT ADOPTION
- Please identify ways to communicate effectively with children about their adoption story at different developmental stages.
- How do you intend to communicate effectively with your child about difficult information in the child’s history at different developmental stages?
- List examples of positive adoption language versus negative adoption language.
- How do you think the use of language helps or hurts an adopted child’s self-esteem?
- How does a child’s understanding of adoption change as the child grows from birth to adulthood?
ATTACHMENT AND ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT
- Identify techniques to facilitate bonding with an infant.
- Identify behaviors that be a sign of attachment in infants
- What do you believe a child needs to know about his/her birth family?
- What are your thoughts about maintaining birth parent connections?
- What are your thoughts about maintaining connections with significant people in the birth parent’s life? (siblings, grandparents)
SUPPORT AND RESOURCES FOR ADOPTIVE PLACEMENT
- What is your current system of support for parenting?
- What support do you anticipate needing for parenting?
- Identify resources available to you for support and information on parenting an adopted child.
- What special education services does your school district offer?
- Identify additional resources available to you for parenting a child with special needs. How would you access these resources? Are the resources in close proximity to you? (one hour’s drive our less) If your community lacks resources what is your plan for gaining access to resources?
- Parents who model appropriate answers to questions posed about their child’s culture, heredity and family formation through adoption help their child understand and deal with insensitive and hurtful comments posed to them as they grow older. List ways you could appropriately respond to the following questions or statements?
- Is she your real child?
- How much did it cost to get him?
- Did you ever meet her real parents?
- You are a really kind, good person for taking him in.