The interview portion of an adoption home study is notorious; mostly to those who have not been through it yet. The reason is that once one goes through the process, one usually comes to the realization that the interview is not as scary as it once seemed! However, to those on the outside of this experience, it may seem like they should expect more of a police interrogation than a simple conversation.
To ease some of the fears about the adoption interview and to prepare for it, it is important to remember a few key things. The first is that you and your family are not on trial. The social worker is trying to get a better understanding of who you are and how you operate as a familial unit. The social worker has to prepare a report on the home study. The interview process allows them to fill in the blanks about how he should describe you and what it would look like for a child to enter your home.
The second element of the interview is to prepare for personal questions f you and your family. Prepare to be open and honest. For this interview, there are no questions off the table. He may ask about everything from your criminal and CPS history to the health of your relationship and sex life. Again, this is all to gather a true picture of the things that have made you who you are the overall health of your family. Be honest with your answers. It is tempting to put your best foot forward. While you should do that, this is likely not the social worker’s first adoption interview. Social workers usually know sugar coating when they see it. They are not there to fail you unless there is a glaring issue. Try to be as comfortable and honest as possible in this process.
A final note of preparation that you need to remember is that everyone in your household will be interviewed, including children. It is helpful to take some time to prepare your children for this fact. The preparation is not so much to coach them on their answers, but rather to help them expect questions. Many of the questions will be very basic such as “Do you know what adoption is?” or “How do you feel about getting a new sibling?” When going through my home study, our social worker was very kind and only interviewed each child for less than five minutes. We were within earshot, and she made sure the kids only answered when they felt comfortable.
In the end, hopefully, you will find out, the adoption interview process is not so scary once you are through it. Remember to be honest and open. Prepare to be asked the tough questions. Don’t hesitate to take a few moments before answering to prepare your thoughts. Put your best foot forward, but make sure the social worker comes away with a realistic representation of you and your family unit.
Lita Jordan is a master of all things “home.” A work-from-home, stay-at-home, homeschooling mother of five. She has a BA in Youth Ministry from Spring Arbor University. She is married to the “other Michael Jordan” and lives on coffee and its unrealistic promises of productivity. Lita enjoys playing guitar and long trips to Target. Follow her on www.facebook.com/halfemptymom/.