What is a home study?

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A home study, conducted by an adoption agency, is a series of meetings between a social worker and prospective adopter that provide an opportunity to learn more about adoption and parenting and to prepare for adoption. The home study process varies from agency to agency. Some conduct individual and joint interviews with a husband and wife or individual interviews with a single person who wants to adopt. Others conduct group home studies with several families at one time, including single and married applicants. A few agencies ask applicants for written information about themselves and their life experiences.

In general, the group sessions (usually 6-8) cover topics such as parenting skills, the pros and cons of adoption, ways to introduce extended family to adoption, and ways to help the child adjust to his or her new family. Part of the home study includes at least one home visit by an agency worker. This helps the worker determine if the home environment will be safe and nurturing for the child. It also gives the family an opportunity to discuss its concerns and needs with the worker.

When the adoption study has been completed, the agency will often present photographs and descriptions of children who are available to the family and will follow up if the family shows an interest in a particular child.

Families say that they find the home study process beneficial; it allows them to consider deeply their personal feelings about adoption and to explore their readiness for a child.

For more information about home studies, consult the Clearinghouse fact sheet, "The Adoption home Study Process."

Your completed adoption home study file will contain:
Forms & written (typed or printed) material:

  • Application to Care for a Child in SOSCF Custody
  • Family Financial Report
  • Medical Report A
  • History Form
  • Personal Questionaire
  • Consent for Criminal Records & Fingerprint Check
  • Adoptive Family Information and Placement Preference (to be completed with the adoption worker)
  • Safety Checklist Requirements (to be completed with the adoption worker)
  • Medical Report B (completed be Health care Provided). Provide physicians with the enclosed SCF Business Reply envelopes.
  • Marriage Certificate (for couples)
  • Divorce Decrees (if applicable)
  • Death Certificate (if applicable)
  • Four letters of reference (one can be from a family member)
  • These will be sent out by the office upon receipt of your application
  • Family picture book
  • Family photo (6 color Xerox copies) (optional)
  • Five minute video presentation of you family (optional)