1-800-HOMESTUDY

Adoption Home Study Process

  • Home Study Application
    • Request information from a home study provider in your state through 1-800-HomeStudy.
    • In most cases, the agency/agent will contact you within 24 to 48 hours and send you an application packet that outlines their agency and state specific guidelines for a home study.
  • Background Check and Clearances
    • For an adoption home study review, all age appropriate members of your household will need to complete a background check, which usually includes a state criminal check, an FBI Criminal History Report, and child abuse and neglect clearances.
    • While state laws vary, you will most likely need a child abuse and neglect record check for AT LEAST the past five years.
    • Please begin the background check process of your adoption home study as soon as possible. These checks will require time for the state agency to process, and your home study social worker and/or placement agency will need to evaluate the results. If you are concerned that you state criminal check will affect your ability to adopt, read over our home study common concerns to learn how a criminal record might affect your home study review approval.
    • Depending on the agency that you choose as your home study provider or the state regulations, you may also need to complete:
      • Parenting class
      • A foster care licensing program
      • CPR training
      • First aid training

*Speak with your home study provider about the state regulations you will need to fulfill.

  • Home Study Social Worker Assigned
    • An adoption home study social worker will contact you to discuss the home study process in detail. They may ask for your home address and schedule your first home study visit. At this point, you should address any concerns you may have about the home study process with your social worker.
  • Adoption Home Study Documents
    • You will be required to turn in your home study documents during your first home study visit. These documents may include:
      • Potential adoptive parents autobiographies
      • Financial information
      • Disciplinary statement
      • Copy of birth certificate of each member of the family
      • Copy of marriage license
      • Copy of divorces decrees(s) if applicable
      • Military discharge(s) (if applicable)
      • Most recent income tax return
      • Employment verifications (letter from employer or most recent pay stub) or non-working spouse statement (if applicable)
      • Physician health statements (link to requirements page)
      • Copies of drivers licenses
      • Reference letters (link to requirements page)
      • Pet vaccination records
      • Proof of insurance: home, health, auto, life
      • Passport(s)
      • Green card(s)
      • Additional documents your state or agency may require for your home study.

Please see our Requirements of an Adoption Home Study for more information on the documents required for a home study.

  • Adoption Home Study Visits
    • The home study social worker will visit you to interview everyone currently residing in the home, including age appropriate children (usually over 5 years old). Members of the family not currently residing in the home may also need to be contacted by the home study social worker for an in-person or phone interview. The home study visit will usually take 2 to 4 hours.
    • The home study social worker will interview your family about your current and past lifestyles. They will discuss your daily routines, how you made the decision to adopt, and your views on raising a child. They will also inquire about your marriage, your religious affiliations and beliefs, extended family members and your health. Be ready to discuss your autobiography in detail.
    • The home study social worker will also be observing your family interactions, your home and your neighborhood. They are there to ensure that your home is a safe environment for a child to be placed in. They also want to discuss how a child will be accommodated in your current home and daily routines. Be prepared to answer questions about where the child's bedroom would be and where the child would go to daycare or school.
    • They may review your home safety precautions. Firearms need to be in a locked container with the ammunition stored separately. They may check smoke detectors, storage of toxic materials, and swimming pool safety precautions.
    • You will give the adoption home study social worker the forms and information your home study provider and agency requested. If you are unsure about the types of documents that will be requested by your home study provider, you may read 1-800-HomeStudy’s Requirements of an Adoption Home Study.
    • If you are apprehensive about the home study visit, please view 1-800-HomeStudy’s answers to common questions and concerns about our adoption home study.
    • The social worker will schedule your second home visit in order to conduct another interview session with your family.
  • Home Study Review
    • Your home study social worker will finish the written report and send a copy of the document to you.
    • Read over the document to check for factual errors, such as social security numbers and birthdates. Changes to the home study social worker's observations and reviews will not be accepted.
  • Confirm and Approve Adoption Home Study Document
    • Confirm with your home study social worker that all factual information contained in your home study review is correct.
    • The adoption home study specialist or supervisor must approve the home study and sign it. Usually you will need to have the document notarized.
  • Your Agency and the Home Study
    • Finally, your home study will need to be approved by your placing agency/agent. This may be your last step before you activate with your placing agency. Your agency may begin showing your potential adoptive parent profile to potential birth mothers.
  • Adoption Home Study Update
    • An update to your home study will need to be performed if you undergo any significant lifestyle changes that would also change the factual information in your home study review. These include a change in your employment status, or a new member has been added to your household. You need an update if your home study or background clearances will expire before the finalization of your adoption.
  • Post-Placement Supervision Visits
    • After a child has been placed with your family, post-placement visits will begin. Usually your home study social worker will want to visit you within the first month of having a child placed with your family. State and country regulations vary on the number of post-placement visits and the amount of time before your adoption finalization hearing.
    • The home study social worker will observe how the child is doing in your home and assess how the members of your family are adjusting to the recent placement of the child. The report is submitted to the court for your adoption finalization hearing.
    • You will need to provide any documents or information regarding the health of the child to your social worker.
    • Post-placement visits will continue until your adoption is finalized which is usually around six months after having the child placed with your family.
    • Post-placement regulations will be determined by either the state in which you live or the state in which your child was born, as well as how the consent/termination of parental rights went through, the licensing requirements of your agency.



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