Home Study Services
The Home Study, or Pre-Adoption Evaluation, is a written report prepared after a caseworker has met with the adoptive parents, visited them in their home, and also interviewed them individually. All adults and children (who are old enough) who are living in the home will be interviewed by the caseworker, and any person age 17 or older will, by state requirement, need to complete background clearance checks. The Home Study allows us to get to know you and based on that, to recommend you as a prospective adoptive family.
Home Studies for an international adoption require additional background clearances and more extensive preparation, so the cost is slightly higher than a Home Study for a domestic adoption.
While we are required to be “nosey” and ask questions, most of us are adoptive parents ourselves (and have had Home Studies completed in that quest), so are sensitive to not being any more intrusive than necessary. We don’t expect your home to be immaculate on the home visit, for example; we realize that it’s lived in!
Completing the Home Study can take several months, dependent in large part on how quickly the adoptive parents can supply us with necessary paperwork. The following are some of the main areas of discussion and disclosure:
- Personal and family background, including upbringing, siblings, key events, and what was learned from them;
- Significant people in the lives of the prospective adoptive parents and their impact;
- Marriage and family relationships;
- Why you wish to adopt;
- Expectations for the child;
- Feelings about infertility (if this is an issue);
- Parenting and integration of the child into the family;
- Family and community environment;
- Physical and health history of the prospective adoptive parents;
- Education, employment and finances – including insurance coverage, child care plans (if needed), and child guardianship;
- References, criminal background checks and fingerprint clearances;
- Summary and caseworker’s recommendation.
Once the child is living with you, most states require that there be a prescribed number of home visits by the caseworker. After the visits are completed, the caseworker will prepare a report that is forwarded to your attorney and submitted to court so that your adoption can be “finalized” or completed. You will usually need to appear in court with the child for the finalization hearing. Once this is completed, you will follow the procedure in your area to obtain a birth certificate with the child having your last name and the first and middle names you have given him or her.
In addition, some international adoptions require that home visits be completed by the caseworker, and reports prepared and forwarded to the foreign country for a specified period of time. The number of home visits is based on the requirement of the foreign country.
For even more information on our Home Study services, click HERE.