The Board of Child Care provides home study services in the state of Maryland. The service is not a one-time visit to your home, but rather the start of a partnership between you, the prospective adoptive family, and the Board of Child Care. The series of meetings you will have with our licensed social worker are designed to help you prepare for adoption, navigate and understand the required paperwork, and what the specific Maryland state regulations are for prospective families.
Our most important responsibility in conducting a home study is to ensure your home is safe for an adopted child. The process beings with criminal background checks, child protective services clearances, and medical reports for everyone living in the household. Your family’s financial information is also gathered to determine if you can responsibly support a child. We’ll be with you every step of the way to make sure the paperwork is submitted correctly and that the right background checks are completed.
The second core focus of the home study is to educate prospective adoptive parents about issues they need to understand. Topics include:
- ways to talk with a child about his or her adoption
- what the child can understand about adoption based on their current age and over his or her developmental life cycle
- how to talk to others, such as friends and teachers, about the adoption
- issues related to trans-racial and/or trans-cultural adoptions
- why children may be available for adoption, the home environment in which they could be currently living in, and how this could impact their health, growth and development once placed into your care
- a child’s possible adjustment challenges once in a family’s home and strategies to help your new family bond
By the time your family completes the home study process you will have a solid understanding of the issues involved in the type of adoption you’ve selected.
Time and Fees Involved
The entire home study process generally takes two to three months to complete, depending on how quickly paperwork is completed. BCC provides all necessary forms and is readily available to answer questions along the way.
Your initial consultation is free. Should you decide to move forward, there are two parts to the home study fee: an initial $300 application fee (for every family) and a final report fee.
The application fee is due at your first official meeting. We use a sliding fee scale for the report fee and that is based on your total household income. You’ll know by the end of your initial phone call with us how much your family would be expected to contribute.
The report fee covers everything from completion of the actual home study report, travel for our adoption service director, and sending official copies of the report to any required agencies.
We hope you’ll select Board of Child Care as your partner, advocate, and resource for your entire adoption process. To set up your free initial consultation, or to answer any of your adoption questions, contact Adoption Services Director, Anne Pearce, at (410) 922-2100, ext. 5350, or firstname.lastname@example.org.