I have read online that a huge part of adoption home studies involves questions about your childhood. I had a very rough childhood, and endured a lot of physical and emotional abuse, and I worry that will affect my chances of being able to adopt. How much of an affect will that have on their decision?

This is an extremely common concern for potential adoptive parents. First, what happened to you as a child is not your fault. We do not chose our parents, and we could not control what happened to us as children. Also, it is not true that because you had an abusive childhood you will be an abusive parent.

The home study process does involve questions about your childhood. These questions are intended to help you think about how you plan to parent. Although it would be wonderful if we could all use our parents as models for our parenting, many people learned from their parents what not do.

The questions are not intended as a way to screen out families who have grown up in abusive families. The social worker who conducts the home study will have been trained to sensitively deal with these issues.

Some of the best parents have grown up in abusive homes because they have spent a lot of time examining what happened to them and made conscious decisions about how they want to parent. Please do not eliminate adoption from consideration because of the home study questions about your childhood.