Member log in

Forgot your password? | Not a member? Join now

What is the aim of the Home Study?

The aim of the Home Study is to prepare you to meet 'the standards of criteria' that you need to aspire, or achieve, when parenting children from overseas. That is you need to have the 'capacity to safeguard a child through childhood'.

It is not enough to want to just 'love the child' and give them a good upbringing. You have to break this down into exactly how you are going to achieve this, taking into consideration that the adopted child has specific needs.  It is interesting to note that the nowhere is the capacity to love a child explored in all of the process and in fact LOVE does not enter in the official process at all. It is though the most important element for you and for your waiting child and it is this powerful emotion that carries you though the whole process.

So the HomeStudy has a set of specific criteria that you need to 'aspire to, or achieve' before they can approve you as prospective adoptive parents.

What this means is that you need to:


  • 'Be able to provide a child with a family life that will promote his or her physical, emotional, social, health, cultural, spiritual and other dimensional wellbeing, as well as being able to maintain an ongoing and meaningful relationship with the child.


  • Have the capacity to provide and environment where your child's original nationality, race, culture, language and religion will be valued and appropriately promoted through childhood.


  • Have the ability to recognise the difference between yourself and your child's within these areas.


  •  Recognise and try to combat racism and other 'institutional and personal oppressive forces' within society (?) 


  •  Be able to recognise and understand that there is an impact of 'being an adopted child from an overseas country'.


  • Be able to compensate for this impact by being able to develop the child's identity through childhood and into adulthood.


  • Be able to recognise that there may be a need to arrange for appropriate support and intervention from health, social services, education and other services throughout childhood.


  • Appreciate that you may have to parent your adoptive child in a counter-intuitive manner or other method because of their unusual start in life and their move into your family.'


 This is certainly seems like a tall order, but some of the points will come intuitively to you and others you will be able to explore on this website. Knowing what is wanted and expected of you, empowers you and will make some of the odd questions easier to understand.

In Adoption Abroad: Saira's Story there is a point about an ex-boyfriend that the agency get really stuck on. Saira used to live with a man before she got married 10 years ago. She did not disclose this information to the social worker, rather brushed over it as insignificant. However, her referral mentioned that she had actually lived with a man in the past and the agency jumped on this.  It was all rather frightening they way that her whole adoption seemed to be in jeopardy because she had not been completely honest about this relationship (She is Pakistani and the truth would brand her in her community and shame her in her mother's eye).  I'm not sure if the social workers were more concerned about the fact that she did not tell them the full truth or that they almost missed the opportunity to explore from a past relationship if she was an abusive person or not, but it created untold emotional angst.  Then, in an interview with the head of the agency it came out that an adopted child had been murdered by his adoptive father (I have not heard of this story) and investigations revealed that a former partner had been abused and could have revealed these tendencies.  Obviously this point comes under the area of  'capacity to safeguard a child through childhood' - however the agency did not disclose this and a simple explanation, like the points above, would have gone some way to Saira's understanding of why they were following this point so ruthlessly.

it is important for you to know where the social workers are coming from. I was blind with my HomeStudy, I had no idea of the complexities of what the adoption agency was expecting of me. Ignorantly I totally believed that I was a cool person who could love an orphaned child and give them a fantastic life. Words like 'impact, safeguard, appropriate, intervention, services, dimensional wellbeing' simply were not in my lexicon. So each time the social worker came to visit it was another couple of hours trying to figure out from where they were coming from and trying desperately to avoid tripping up.  I am hoping to shed some light to prevent you, and hundreds of other wonderful people, from floundering in the darkness!

We will explore each of these categories further.

Join today graphic

Adoption News

Why UK has low Inter country adoption numbers

Published - Mar 23, 2017

Nepal to begin process to ratify Hague Convention

Published - Mar 14, 2017