The adoption home study may sound a little invasive and scary for some hopeful parents, when in fact it is more paperwork than white glove inspection of your home. The “home study” is really a “people study”. A combination of a written and oral description of your family and your lifestyle and inspection of where you will raise your child. The process is conducted by a licensed social worker trained to educate and prepare you as the adoptive family for adoption and to assemble information about the prospective parents for the report.
This social worker will examine many areas of your life, from financial, criminal background checks, work, health, parenting styles, and your ability to care and love for a child that is not of your body, but comes to you through adoption. It is a very vital part of the adoption process.
A social worker will also include in the home study a series of visits to your home. These visits mainly serve to ensure your home meets state licensing standards for safety. The number and frequency will largely depend on the laws of your state.
You may hear the phase “home study ready” which means that you have completed a home study and the written report has been completed and now are ready for a match. In domestic adoptions, many birth mothers are seeking parents that are home study ready. It is a great relief to them to know that the family has been investigated is safe and is ready and willing to adopt and love her child.
You must have an approved home study in most states to be able to bring a child into your home or take custody of a child. Many parents may start their search for a birth mother while the home study is underway. Consider this cautiously, as you don’t want to find a good birth mother to match with only to have to put her off while you wait for your home study to be complete.
This home study assessment process normally takes 30 to 90 days to complete. The time frame of your adoption assessment can take longer if you delay returning your paperwork to your social worker.
Remember the home study provider is there to help you complete your study and will answer any questions you have about the process or the adoption in general. If a social worker feels that there are any unanswered questions regarding your application or your family, they will recommend clarification before approval your home study.
Upon successful completion of your home study, a final report is written, certifying that you, the adopting parent or parents are qualified to adopt.
If you need referrals for home study providers in your area, contact your coordinator today.