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The Adoption Homestudy

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Once you apply to adopt a child (whether you apply through an agency, an attorney or facilitator, or directly to the court in an independent adoption), the laws of all states require that you undergo a "homestudy." Homestudies are conducted to evaluate your desire and commitment to adopt, to explore the reasons why you want to adopt, to evaluate you as a prospective parent, and to provide education about adoption.

There is no set format that adoption agencies use to conduct homestudies. They must follow the general regulations of their 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.

The homestudy 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. 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 homestudy process takes three to six months to complete, but it can take longer through public agencies or less time in certain situations. The homestudy process, the contents of the written homestudy report, and the time it will take to complete vary from state to state and from agency to agency. In general, the following information is included in the homestudy:
  • Personal and family background-including upbringing, siblings, key events, and what was learned from them
  • Significant people in the lives of the applicants
  • Marriage and family relationships
  • Motivation to adopt
  • Expectations for the child
  • Feelings about infertility (if this is an issue)
  • Parenting and integration of the child into the family
  • Family environment
  • Physical and health history of the applicants
  • Education, employment and finances-including insurance coverage and child care plans if needed
  • References and criminal background clearances
  • Summary and social worker's recommendation.

Visitor Comments (5)
Adding your comments contributes to the adoption community. Please keep all comments on topic and civil. Visitors are invited to comment and vote for or flag comments based on appropriateness and helpfulness. All comments must adhere to our commenting rules and are subject to moderation.
Darlene - 3 months ago
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When trying to adopt your granddaughter from the state . what would be the reason for the state not to place the child with family until process is done #1
Diane - 10 months ago
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Can a foster child who becomes available to adopt be placed in your home before the home study is complete? #2
Carol - 1 year ago
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If doing a private adoption, make sure your attorney has done others so there is no fooling around and the process moves along. I'm having a bad experience. #3
george - 1 year ago
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why you dont put the contacts on the page so that we can reach them easly in order to have first hand information #4
Jenny - 1 year ago
5 0 0
I want to do a private adoption but I don't know how to pick the right agency? #5
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