Wednesday, July 1, 2009

A Homestudy Process

Last you heard, Kevin and I were preparing to go to our a meeting with a social worker (SW) at JFS. They had sent us the application packet prior to our meeting so at the meeting if we knew that this was the next step for us we could get started right away. Well the meeting went really well and the so we did it! Back in January we decided to go with JFS mainly for the reason that they didn't require a 3 year marriage prior to application. If so, Kevin and I would have to wait till September 2010. Anyways, in talking to the SW I just felt more and more comfortable with this agency.
That night we had to turn in quite a few things:

  1. The JFS application
  2. A copy of our birth certificates
  3. A copy of our passports
  4. A copy of our driver's license
  5. A copy of our marriage certificate
  6. A personal finance form
  7. A copy of last year's 1040 and a few bank statements supporting the information provided in the personal finance form
  8. A copy of our health and dental insurance cards
  9. Names and addresses of 5 references (they couldn't be related to us and must have known us for at least 4 years)
  10. Autobiographies and a self-questionnaire (this was really interesting to read since we wrote them separately)
  11. A photograph of us
  12. Verification of Employment (a copy of our current paychecks)
  13. Sworn Disclosure
  14. Corporal Punishment Policy Agreement
  15. Information Release Form
  16. Signed Fee Agreement Form (this is agreeing that we are going to pay)
  17. Signed Fee Statement (this was a schedule of their fees that we agreed to)
Over the weekend we went to Pa.tientFi.rst to get our Medical History Forms filled out and our Virginia Child Abuse Check Forms notarized. Then during the week we had to go to the police station to get our Fingerprint Cards (Criminal Record Check) done.

We started working on a lot of these forms before we went to the meeting on the 17th. Everything else we we turned in before our appt with Dr. Grrr on the 24th. We made an appointment for our home visit on the 8th of July.

The cost for the homestudy is $1800. This seemed to be consistent with what others I've heard of have paid. They split it up into thirds that are due at the first meeting, the home visit and the last meeting. Additional costs that we've had - $20 co-pay for the Pati.entFirs.t visit for me (Kevin doesn't have a co-pay with his insurance plan), $10 Child Abuse Check Fee, $20 to get fingerprinted, $100 Fingerprint Processing (by the FB.I) fee.

I liked JFS because they are a smaller agency that tries to empower you through the whole adoption process. One of the things that struck me about both CHSVA and CCC was that after your homestudy was done, you were expected to sit and wait in a pool of all these other potential adopters, hoping that when a birth mother came in she would pick you. JFS advocates expanding your network. Make a "Dear Birthmother" packet and send it to everyone you know, parents, cousins, friends, priests, other agencies (if allowed), & ob/gyn offices. Don't be afraid to cross state lines. They talked about adoption attorneys and online placement services. They said if you knew how to do a website to put one up. For me, this just seemed infinitely better than the process at other agencies. The other two never even talked about what you could do!

So now we're waiting and cleaning! Only a week to go and I'm sure Kevin will come up with a list of things that need to be done.


~Jess said...

How exciting!!! Hopefully the process moves quickly; it sounds like you're dealing with a really great agency.

A said...

Wow, you have certainly gotten the show on the road!! My friend T's friends who have only been waiting since January are meeting with a birthmom today! I hope that God has a short wait in mind for you, too!