Here in Arizona a homestudy, required for adoption, is a little different from most other states in the country. Arizona is one of only 2 states that require a judge's signature to make it official. In most other states a social worker can give the final stamp of approval. But here, a social worker writes the report, it gets submitted to juvenile/family court, and a judge makes the final determination. So, it takes a little longer to get it done here. Once approved it is valid for a year and a half. Our expires in September, which means the time to act is now, before it expires. Luckily, it is possible to simply renew our homestudy. There is much less paperwork to complete, and the cost is a mere $800 instead of the $1400 for a full homestudy.
So, I contacted our social worker to let her know that we are ready to renew. Basically, we just need to have her come out to scope out the house again. She'll just be checking to see that we haven't dismantled our pool fence and that we haven't taken to storing our kitchen knives on the coffee table in reach of our now crawling baby. She'll also be looking to see that we haven't slipped into a lifestyle of filth and sloth. I'm sure we'll have to have our fingerprints redone and reassemble our latest tax returns and pay stubs and banking records.
I suppose you may be wondering why we are renewing the homestudy at all. Well, we need to have a current homestudy to be eligible to adopt. No, we haven't got anything in the works. And no, we aren't yet ready to board the roller coaster of having our profile shopped around to expecting birthmoms. Even though we aren't ready for another adoption right now, we aren't ready to walk away from it and be done, either. I have much more to say about open adoption, and our experience with it, and how it feels looking back on it, but that will have to wait for another day.