What is a home study?
A home study is the result of the process in which a caseworker creates a written profile and review of you, your family, and your lives, in order to determine whether or not you qualify to become an adoptive parent or parents. Your caseworker will not only work to determine your readiness to bring a child into your life, but also help to educate you and your loved ones about what to expect. Home studies can be a time-consuming process, but is a crucial (and required) part of adopting a child.
Why do home studies take so long to complete?
The home study process can take several months due to it being such a critical step of your adoption journey. As background checks must be performed, criminal records verified, medical histories examined, and more, a lot of time and effort goes into one home study. However, you can help speed up the process by gathering required documents as soon as your caseworker informs you as to what, specifically, is needed. Once your home study is complete and has been approved, you can begin your search for a child. The initial home study is valid for one year and, beyond that, a home study update must be completed each year in order to actively remain searching for a child.
Do I/we absolutely need a home study?
Yes. State law requires all prospective adoptive parents to go through the home study process before a child can be placed into their home. Furthermore, agencies will not even show your profile to prospective birth mothers and families until your home study has been completed.
Is anyone else involved in the home study process?
Each person living in your household will be involved in the home study and may be subject to interviews. Age appropriate children may be asked simple questions, such as how they may feel about having a new brother or sister. The caseworker just wants to see how you and your family interact and get a sense for how a new child may fit.
What are post-placement visits?
Post-placement visits are follow up interviews to the home study and are completed after a child has been placed in your home. These visits normally consist of a caseworker (and usually the same caseworker) visiting your home to observe you and your child in your new environment. Post-placements are a required part of the adoption process and are needed to finalize your adoption.