Q. What is an adoption home study?
A. A home study is a review of you, your spouse, and anyone else
living in your home. A home study is required for almost every
adoption. It highlights items such as relationships, interactions with
children, your neighborhood, and your childhood. The home study
helps the courts, and the agency, determine if a stable environment
exists for a family to receive an adoptive placement.
Q. What are post-placement reports
A. Post-placement reports are follow-ups to the home study after the placement of a child has been made. They consist of visits to assess the status of the child and how the adoptive parents are adjusting. Post placement requirements vary across states and agencies.
Q. Are all home studies created equally?
A. Due to the sheer number of organizations providing home study services there is an enormous difference in the quality of home studies. While each state has the same standards that all agencies are required to follow, there are many items to consider. Unless approved by the adoption program you are joining, you should have your home study completed by a licensed professional. My license (Texas License #63138 and National Certification #219527) and experience permits me to conduct home studies in Texas. The professional you choose should be able to schedule the interviews and complete the home study in a timely fashion, usually within 2-6 weeks.
Q. What is an update?
A. An update is a required addition to the home study in the event of any major life changes or every 12 months until your final adoption hearing. For example, imagine a child is placed with you tomorrow, and the state allows the final hearing in 60 days, if your home study were only six months old, you would not need an update.
After your home study is completed, it must remain current until you receive an adoptive placement. Home studies should be updated every 12 months.
A home study update is necessary for the reasons listed below.
-Addition to your family
-Major life development
-Home study is more than 12 months old
Q. When should we start the home study?
A. Obtaining a home study is the first step toward adoption, so it is important
that the home study be started immediately. Typically, I can complete your
home study in 2-6 weeks. Agencies advise that you not begin the search or
locate a child without a completed home study.
Home Study Frequently Asked Questions
Q. Are there different requirements for an international home study?
A. An international home study is somewhat different than a domestic home study. With an international home study the requirements of your home state need to be met, in addition to the requirements of the Immigration and Naturalization Service and the foreign country you are adopting from. An international home study is a highly specialized style of home study that needs to be completed by a licensed and Hague certified adoption professional. Before starting the international home study process you must already have selected an agency to work with and which country you will be adopting from.
An independent home study evaluator, such as Texas Home Study, can act as an "Exempted Provider" for your international adoption and complete your home study only if you are working with a Hague Certified entity.
Types of Adoption Home Studies
Domestic Adoptions (or private adoptions) - refers to the placement of U.S.-born children for adoption by their birth parents.
International Adoptions - refers to the placement and adoption of children from a different country.
StepParent or Kinship Adoptions - refers to the placement and adoption of a stepchild, or a child with whom you are related.
Court Ordered Social Studies - court ordered by a judge when additional information is necessary for an adoption to be granted.
Home Study Updates - home studies expire after 12 months of completion and at that time if placement has not occurred, then an update to the original home study must be completed.
Post Placement Reports - refers to the home visit(s) and report(s) required after a child has been placed in the home for potential adoption.