Your friend, colleague, or neighbor has just asked you to help them in the most exciting time of their life – their adoption process. The adoption process requires one or more reference letters from people who know the prospective parents well, and this just happens to be you. You’re understandably honored and happy to help them make their dream a reality since you think they would be great parents.
Once this sinks in, however, it’s normal to feel worried about what to write in an adoption reference letter since it’s so essential for the process. In this article, we share information about the adoption process, explain why the letters are necessary, and give suggestions for how you can make yours exceptional.
Why are these reference letters required?
Reference letters are used in many fields, from college applications to job hunting, but not everyone knows they’re also used in adoption processes. The home study involves doing background checks and security clearances, sharing their medical health information and financial statements, and also providing a home inspection and visit. The adoption review process varies in each country, state, or province. It also depends on whether they are adopting from inside the country or internationally. The process for a foster adoption is slightly different as well.
In every case, however, a reference letter is required. A family planning to adopt a child will be asked to give the agency anything from three to five different reference letters. They are all similar in that the adoption recommendation letter cannot be from a family member, so they need to reach out to friends, colleagues, professors, neighbors, a member of their church – anyone who can vouch for the prospective parents’ characters.
Reference letters are a good way for social workers on that file to understand what the adoptive family is like. These letters provide an external perspective to the family, which gives a better-rounded picture of the home situation.
What should be included in an adoption reference letter for a friend?
Introduce the friend
The adoption letter should start by explaining how you know the prospective parents: where you met, under what circumstances, and how long ago this was. Then, it should explain the relationship you have with one or both of the parents.
After this introduction, you should continue by describing their characters and their strengths as you know them. Here is where you provide any information that may be found helpful by the social worker. Consider what attributes they may have that would be perfect for adopting and parenting a child, and be sure to highlight those in this section.
Why they are suitable parents
You should provide information about each person in the relationship and then speak about how their marriage is as a whole. Finally, explain their current parenting skills, if applicable, or how you’ve seen them interacting with young children. Finish with a clear sentence indicating your recommendation that these prospective parents should be able to adopt because of their extreme suitability.
What’s important here is to indicate that the family is ready to raise a child, so you have to be honest. Don’t embellish or make things up to make your friend happy or make things more difficult for the social worker. Instead, speak honestly and frankly about them as a couple and individuals. You should be clear about whether there is anything that would prohibit them from adopting, and if there isn’t, indicate that.
Edit your letter
It’s important that your letter has no spelling mistakes or inconsistencies, so don’t forget to proofread and edit it before you send it off. Some sites have online tools that can help you with this. For instance, Grammar Checker is a free AI-based tool that will scan your letter to find all grammatical mistakes.
Your sign off
Don’t forget to finish the letter by including your full name, phone number, and address so the social worker on this file can follow up with you if they have questions about anything you addressed in your letter.
Writing a reference letter for adoption home study may seem like a daunting task, but it’s a small thing you can do for this family that will help them make their dreams a reality.
Madeline Miller is a writer at Best Essay Writing Services. She writes about parenting and education.
Join the Working Mom List
Join the Working Mom collective and get support and tools to help you thrive! Subscribers get access to my library of resources and printables.