1-800-HOMESTUDY

The Process Q & A

Q. What is the adoption home study process?

Q. What documents are needed for an adoption home study?

Q. How will my children be involved in the home study interviews?

Q. Who else is involved in the home study interviews?

Q. When should we start the adoption home study process?

Q. How long is an adoption home study valid?


Q. What is the adoption home study process?

A. The adoption home study process begins when potential adoptive parents fill out the 1-800-HOMESTUDY online application for their state. A home study provider will usually contact the family within 24 to 48 hours to go over the adoption home study process and the requirements. Read 1-800-HOMESTUDY's detailed article about the adoption home study process to learn more about what you should expect during a home study.

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Q. What documents are needed for an adoption home study?

A. The documents needed for a home study will be determined by your state and agency/agent requirements. Many states and agencies do require background clearances, financial information, physician statements, employment verifications, birth certificates, marriage license and health insurance documents. More examples of documents required for an adoption home study are listed on 1-800-HOMESTUDY's Adoption Home Study Checklist. Please speak with your home study provider and agency about the specific items they will need to approve your home study before you begin collecting the documents.

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Q. How will my children be involved in the home study interviews?

A. During the home study, any age appropriate children (usually age 5 and above) will be interviewed. The home study social worker will be asking simple questions about how the children feel about having a new brother or sister. The home study social worker will also want to observe how your children interact with both parents and with their environment.

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Q. Who else is involved in the home study interviews?

A. Everyone residing in your household will be involved in the home study visit and interviews. The home study social worker needs to confirm that all members of your family and residence are prepared to provide a welcoming environment for a child. Members of your family who are no longer residing in the home may also need to complete an in-person or phone interview with the adoption home study social worker.

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Q. When should we start the adoption home study process?

A. You should begin the home study process as soon as you’ve identified adoption as the plan for your family. The home study process could take up to 90 days, depending on the state in which you live. Once you complete your adoption home study you can begin the search to locate a child.

You should put as much time and effort into researching your home study provider as you did when choosing your adoption placing agency/agent. This is an integral part of the adoption process, and you must choose a home study social worker who will be able to complete your review to meet all 50 state’s requirements.

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Q. How long is an adoption home study valid?

A. Most adoption home studies are valid for one year, although each state's laws may vary in its requirements for home study updates. 1-800-HOMESTUDY advises families to complete a home study update yearly because of delays and complications that can arise in the adoption process if the potential adoptive parents and the birth mother's state laws conflict. An example of this conflict would be that your state laws mandated that an adoption home study is valid for 18 months, but the prospective birth mother's state required a home study update every 12 months. This conflict in state laws will cause problems and delays during your adoption process.

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