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The KidsFirst Blog

Real talk about adoption.


Home Study

Beginning the home study process can be a bit intimidating for families as they start their journey of adoption. Some are worried about what might be asked, if they will be judged, or what kind of paperwork they will need to gather.

The goal of a home study is always focused on the well-being of a child. Will a child be safe in the home? Will their needs be met? Will the child have the supports they need? Will they be loved, nurtured, and cared for throughout their lives? What additional education or supports does this family need to meet the needs of an adopted child?

The process of a home study can be split into two different categories- paperwork and interviews.

Each state and agency will have different paperwork requirements, but they will be similar. The social worker will likely request birth certificates, marriage certificates, reports from a physician, health insurance, financial documents, and references. They will also run several background checks on every member of the home. The family will take classes about adoption related issues, trauma, attachment, and child development.

During the interview process, the social worker will want to get to know the parents and family, while also providing ongoing education regarding adoption. The interviews will cover the adoptive parents’ upbrings, support systems, parenting style, present marriage, and daily life. They want to get to know you and how an adopted child would fit in with the life you have created. If you are a couple, the social worker will want to learn about each of you as an individual as well as partners.

The social worker will also come out to the home for a safety inspection. Again, each agency and state will have different requirements, but they will all include a tour of the entire home. Some common things that a social worker will look for are working smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, fire extinguisher, appropriate bedrooms for the children with enough space and storage, and no obvious safety hazards. If a home has firearms, pools, hot tubs, or bodies of water additional safety measures will need to be put in place.

After all the paperwork has been submitted, background check results are back, interviews completed, and the home visit finished, the social worker will begin working on your home study report. This report will take all the information they learned from the process and input it into a several page summary with their assessment.

The most important thing that a family can do during the home study process is to be upfront and honest. You should feel comfortable to ask questions and keep the social worker updated if life changes occur. In return, the social worker should be upfront and honest with you about the process.

Ready to learn more?  Schedule your free consultation today and get the process started.

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