Monday, November 7, 2011

Home Study Questions for Second Parent Adoption

I'd like to start off by saying I'm pissed that we have to do this at all for us to be a "legal" family.  We procrastinated the adoption for a long, long time.  Partially because we are already legally married and Chicken is listed on the birth certificate, but mostly because we hired a lawyer that has made so many mistakes it's ridiculous.  She's so careless I have no idea how she gets through the day.

We've finally gotten to the home study portion of the adoption which means we're almost done!  Last week the social worker came over and spent 2 hours with us.  Good God.  I can't even believe that she wanted our entire life stories from BIRTH to present.  WTF?!
Now you know that I am not really a private person, but I was pissed that we had to go through all of these questions--to be so judged.
Today, I get an email from the social worker and I must say....I'm a bit in disbelief.

These this NORMAL for a home study??   Did anyone else have to go through all of this??
And the kicker?  The social worker is a pregnant lesbian I've previously met on several occasions.  Someone else is going to be coming to her house and doing the same damn thing.
It's so messed up on so many levels.


Hope this email finds you and the boys well. I have completed my first drafts of the home studies and have some follow up questions.
What is your actual address?
Documents: I am looking for a letter from the Cryobank and also, egg donor letter. Does Stupid Lawyer have these? We need to find out. I will write to her but please also investigate.
Do you call each other wife, spouse, partner. Do you go by Ms. or Mrs.? I assume Ms. but you never know.
I need current info on your parents. How old are they, still working, retired? interests, hobbies, how often see twins, are they coming to Costa Rica? Relationship with Puffer and boys.
What did you get your B.A. in?
What was your job at XXX?
2007-09 you were a marketing manager for whom, I know it was an on line non profit.
How long has your mother been married to stepfather, confirm 22 years?
Your mother met the twins after their birth and again in 2010. When?
Are your mother and step father coming to Costa Rica?
Did your brother meet the boys on Mother's Day 2011?
Does your father know the twins were born?
Confirm you were in counseling in college and did you do any therapy since?
I know Puffer is the birth mother. Do you consider Chicken to be the bio mother? Or the egg donor? I know that technically, she is an egg donor, but it seems significant that she is biologically related to the boys. Can you comment on this.
At birth, were boys born early, what did they weigh, were they healty? Which was born first?
I met the boys, but it was hard for me in the short visit to distinguish them apart yet. How is Grunter different from W2 in temperment, character? How are they different and alike? Play, language, etc.


anofferingoflove said...

I started reading this post with my go-to "just be thankful you can both become legal parents" attitude (no 2nd parent adoption in my state) ... But by the end of this post my blood was boiling for you.. Wow. Just wow. Sorry you have to deal with this shit.

tireegal68 said...

Okay, this is seriously effed up!!!!! In Chicago there is no home study anymore so I don't know what is "normal"! The whole egg donor thing is crazy!!! What is wrong with these people?!!!!! I would be pissed! Good luck getting through this!!!

K said...

Umm... Our "home study" was conducted in 10 minutes in the Guardian Ad Litem's office and went something like this: A quick confirmation of the spelling of our names and address, verification of birth dates, etc. followed by "Just for the record, you understand what this adoption means in terms of your rights and responsibilities as parents? And you want all that, right? OK, sounds good! See you next week in court!" The hoops you are having to jump through are beyond absurd. Worth it as a means to an end, I guess, but insulting and aggravating nonetheless. Boo. :-(

Anonymous said...

We had the same social worker as you (and my guess is the same lawyer). I was also surprised by the level of detail she wanted (we got a similar follow up email). I know she's writing a psychosocial, which for some social workers is very detailed and others, not so much. Friends of mine waited for the state to send someone and ended up with a probation officer who lived in their neighborhood and just wanted to check out their fancy apartment. He didnt even ask to see the baby (who was napping). No doubt, the whole thing sucks.

Anonymous said...

What the hell? How could these things possibly matter in terms of the adoption? Grrrr! We are legally married in CA and DW is on the birth certificate but we also did the second parent adoption. We didn't have a home study. Just had to all go in to the office and answer some stupid ass questions about our relationship. Ridiculous.

Heather said...

What? Wow. Those are some indepth questions! Our SW (odd older lady) asked us a lot of questions, but, wow, yours is beyond a lot. Ridiculous.

jessie said...

We had ridiculous questions too. I think vie blocked them out but I know there was one about our religious beliefs. Ugh.

Anonymous said...

wow that is f'n ridiculous! sorry you have to do this. what a crock! i am thankful home studies get waived in our state for second parent adoption. hope it is over soon!

Nadine said...

That is such absolute total crap. Just googled for my own curiosity and in Canada (Ontario) two women can be listed in the statement of live birth (and on birth certificate) as long as the donor sperm was anonymous.

It just seems so long that chicken, as a parent, has to go through such interrogation.

z. said...

I am assuming because you say you had a careless lawyer that we used the same lawyer, but well, who knows? :) We waited for the court-appointed social worker to do the home study. It was very, very rote. She came in, walked around, and she was in a hurry, so the interview happened over the phone in about 30 minutes.

Mostly, I just told myself that though the process was annoying and I shouldn't have to jump through hoops, I was glad to have the option. The only thing that made me REALLY mad was when my lawyer didn't tell us procedures had changed and made us get fingerprinted at the police station when we should've gone to the court to get prints done. Good luck with study and so sorry for the aggravation of it all!

Lucy said...

Um, wow. I have no experience with these things, but I guess I always thought it would be significantly less invasive. Some of these questions are nothing short of offensive. Such crap. I hope it goes smoothly for you gals and is over soon!

Amy said...

Why does it matter so much who was born first? That's on their birth certificates for legal purposes, but they're twins! One of my current pet peeves is when people constantly ask which of my boys is "big brother". They were born 3 minutes apart!

shroomie said...

Those questions are just....beyond ridiculous. I mean I am curious how that information really plays into your and Chicken's ability to parent YOUR boys. We are going through the process here and no matter how you slice it is just a frustrating process. I hope it goes smoothly and you are done with it soon.

AdventuresInBabyMaking said...

holy shit. on what planet are any of those questions relevant to the adoption?? how long parents have been married?? how often do grandparents see the kids? none of their effing business.

we didn't even have to do a home study, thank goodness. if i had to sit through these questions, i would have hit the effing roof.

Over the Rainbow said...

In Georgia, a judge can (and in the Atlanta area often does) waive the homestudy. The actual content of the homestudy is up to the social worker, but this is similar to what some of our friends have been through. Ours was waived thanks to a (not crappy) lawyer. It's stupid and a giant pain, though. I'm sorry you have to deal with this.

Strawberry said...

That's awful. I don't care what she needs the answers to those questions for. I'd have to restrain myself from giving her a big F-YOU! The questions about Chicken and egg donation- WTF. SO inappropriate.

Anonymous said...

I consider us lucky. While I certainly had to jump through more hoops than I preferred we didn't have to do the home visit portion of the investigation because of California's current economic state. We met with the social worker in person once at the court house.


Anonymous said...

Our lawyer in MA filed a petition to waive the home study. It was pretty painless for us, though still somewhat annoying.

Remember to get a credit for your adoption expenses on your federal taxes (which only seems fair since the federal government's failure to recognize gay marriage is the only reason to do the adoption).

Carey said...

It def sounds like she's writing a biopsychosocial. I know it's annoying & insulting but it sounds like she's just covering everything. I have to write these for my therapy clients and the info required is significant . For our second parent adoption, we had to meet with a probation officer in CA who asked all sorts of random questions...

Anonymous said...

we did second parent adoption in NYC and did have the annoyance of the home study, and most of these questions. Unfortunately, sounds like social worker is not quite on the ball, as she should not have needed the follow-up IMO.
FWIW, we went through surrogates court, as opposed to family court, and in a private meeting with judge to finalize adoption, she apologized that we has to go through this process, and gave the kids cookies.

Anonymous said...

In IN, Hetero couples go through those and more for the Adoption Homestudy. Such as is your sex life satisfactory, have you had issues, if so how were those solved . . .