A home study is one of the most integral parts of preparing a family for an adoption. A home study is necessary to assure that a child is being placed in loving, financially secure, safe home. This study is extremely important for both the parents and the agency that is placing the child. The process has many steps ranging from the collection of documents, participating in interviews to background checks. A home study can make or break an adoption, which is why many parents want to learn as much as they can about the process.
What is a home study?
A home study is a series of interviews and home visits to make sure adoptive parents have the financial, emotional, and psychological capability to raise a child. Some adoptive children come with complications. The home study process is crucial for matching these children with a family that can care for them. Part of the home study is making sure that the home is safe for a child—the other part is making sure that the child receives the care, attention, and upbringing that they need and deserve.
How long does a home study take?
Many prospective parents are very eager to complete the home study process as quickly as possible, so they can adopt and start their new life immediately. The length of a home study varies, depending on multiple moving parts—how many caseworkers the agency has, how many other home studies the agency is conducting at the same time, how quickly the parents fulfill their responsibilities of the home study, and how long it takes to get a background checks completed. Most home studies are finished between three and six months. The time it takes can be truncated by the adoptive parents, by being as prompt as possible when asked to have an interview or to provide documents. At Adoption Makes Family, the home study process takes up to 90 days to complete once the family has submitted all necessary documentation.
How much does it cost to have a home study?
The costs, again, vary from agency to agency and from situation to situation. Some agencies include the cost of the study in their overall fee, while others have prospective parents pay for it separately. Sometimes the home study fee includes all the costs of that home study, but in other cases it covers only the study itself; the background check and application fees are not included. The only way to know for sure how much a home study is going to cost is to contact an agency and speak to a caseworker about it.
What in our home study might disqualify us from adopting?
The vast majority of parents who have a home study are approved and are able to adopt. Many prospective parents make the mistake of believing that they should have a perfect relationship with each family member, an excess of wealth, and a pristine home to pass the home study. However, this is not necessarily the case for a social worker to confirm the home is safe and the family is prepared for the adoption. The adoptive family’s home should be child-proofed, if necessary, to ensure a safe place for a child. A history of child abuse or child neglect can disqualify an applicant from an adoption. At Adoption Makes Family, we look to screen you in, rather than screen you out. The agency wants the adoptive family to be able to adopt just as much as the family wants to adopt.