The Nuts and Bolts of an Adoption Home Study contd.5
If You Already Have Children
If you already have children, either birth children, adopted children, or both, they will be included in the home study in some way. Older children may be invited to one or more of the educational sessions. They might also be asked to write a statement describing their feelings and preferences about having a new brother or sister. Younger children might be asked to draw a picture showing their thoughts on the subject. Children of all ages will probably be met and/or interviewed by the social worker at least once.
The social worker may ask the children (and you too) how they do in school, what their interests and hobbies are, what their friends are like, and how they get rewarded or disciplined for good or not-so-good behavior. But the emphasis will more likely be on how they see a new child fitting into the family and whether they are prepared to share you with a new sibling. A new sibling means sharing time, attention, television channel selection, the bathroom, the prized seat at the kitchen table, and the many other elements of family life on a daily basis.
Children's input is usually quite important in the overall assessment of a family's readiness to adopt a child. Their feelings need to be considered, and their reaction to the adoption needs to be generally positive. The social worker will want to make sure that a newly adopted child will be wanted and loved by everyone in the family from the start.