All About Home Studies
If you live in the U.S. and are going to adopt, you will need an adoption homestudy. Many states require homestudies before a child can be placed in your custody as adoptive parents. It is recommended that you complete a homestudy as one of the first steps in your adoption process. Angel Adoption will guide you through this step.
State homestudy requirements vary, but generally an adoption caseworker will have you submit an intake form, and interview you to help her/him evaluate if you are qualified to adopt according to the guidelines of your state. Usually background checks, financial reviews, and at least one home visit are part of the process.
Individuals who seek to adopt may face the entire process with tender egos and mounting anxiety that they will not be "approved." Armed with accurate information, however, prospective parents can face the home study experience with confidence and the excitement that should accompany the prospect of welcoming a child into the family.
There is no set format that adoption agencies use to conduct home studies. They must follow the general regulations of your State, but they have the freedom to develop their own application packet, policies, and procedures within those regulations. Some agencies will have prospective parents attend one or several group orientation sessions or a series of training classes before they complete an application. Others will have their social worker start by meeting with family members individually and then ask that they attend educational meetings later on. Usually agency staff members are glad to answer any questions and to guide applicants through the process.
The home study itself is a written report of the findings of the social worker who has met with the applicants on several occasions, both individually and together, usually at the social worker's office. At least one meeting will occur in the applicant's home. If there are other people living in the home, they also will be interviewed by the social worker.
On average the home study process takes three to four months to complete. In general, the following information is included in the home study: