Are you thinking about adoption? It is a wonderful way to build your family. If you are just starting your adoption journey, you probably have a lot of questions. After all, it is a complex process from expressing the desire to adopt to bringing home your new baby. One of the most crucial steps in any kind of adoption is the home study. This is where your adoption agency or your state's Department of Children and Families comes into your home to interview you and make sure your home is safe for a child. When it comes to the interview portion, it is best to just answer each question honestly. As for making your home safe, there are four essential items you need to have before the home study is done. These are items that any organization that does home studies is going to want to see.
Here's what you need to make sure your home passes the inspection with flying colors.
1. A Fire Extinguisher
No home study organization is going to approve you unless you have a fire extinguisher in your home. According to Binti.com, it is considered a basic safety item. You should always have one in an easily accessible location. You should also be able to demonstrate you know how to use it. If you've never used one before, ask someone at the home supply store, such as Tri County Fire Protection, to teach you.
While you only need one, it shows an extra commitment to safety to have several fire extinguishers. One in each bedroom and one in the kitchen is an excellent idea. This makes an extinguisher always available to any adult or older child who needs one. Your home study provider will be glad to see more than one fire extinguisher in your house.
2. Smoke Alarms
In keeping with the theme of fire safety, home study providers will want to see smoke alarms in every bedroom. This way, they can be sure everyone can be easily woken up to exit the house if it becomes necessary. All smoke alarms must be in working order and must be demonstrated to be so during the home study. If your bedrooms border a hallway, you should put one or two alarms in the hallway, as well.
3. A Lockable Liquor Cabinet
If you keep any liquor in your house, you will need a liquor cabinet with a lock on it. People who run adoption agencies do not want children to have easy access to alcohol. Even with the cabinet and the lock, you will still need to put the cabinet in a place that is not easily accessible to a child. That means don't put it near the ground. Keep it somewhere high that is easy for you to reach, but that would take some effort for a child to get to. Be sure to have a hiding place for the key to the cabinet that only you and your spouse know.
4. Babyproofing Equipment
Though you won't need this equipment for a long time, you need to have it when the home study provider comes. Babyproofing equipment is usually needed until a child starts pre-school or Kindergarten. It includes things like caps for electrical outlets, baby gates for stairs, and locks for low cabinets that a child can easily reach.
Small children are exploring the world and will stick their finger in an outlet or climb into a cabinet where they can possibly get stuck or hurt if given a chance. They will also fall down stairs if they try to navigate them while still learning to walk. Babyproofing equipment keeps them safe, and you'll need it to pass the home study.
Getting your home study can be nerve wracking, but it will be a lot easier on you if you go into it prepared. Know what types of items will be required to be in your home, and make sure those items are there before your home is examined. While exact requirements may vary by state or organization, these four items are universally required by every home study. Start with these items and be prepared when your home study caseworker comes.