What is an Adoption Home Study?
The adoption home study is an overview of a hopeful adoptive family’s life that is conducted by a licensed social worker. During this process, your social worker will visit your home to discuss your personal history, family interests and lifestyle, childcare experiences, and your strengths and skills in meeting the child’s needs. This will include an interview with you (the adoptive parents) and any other resident of your home. It will also include state and federal criminal background checks and financial and medical information.
Home studies for adoption are one of the most important components of an adoption, as they determine whether you and your home are fit for raising a child. A completed home study is required for all couples wanting to adopt, whether domestically, internationally or through the foster care system.
Learning the steps of the home study process can help you prepare for the journey ahead and can ease any nerves you may have about this step of the adoption. It can be an overwhelming process for adoptive families, but it’s important to keep in mind that once the home study is completed you are officially on the road to adoption!
Texas Home Study Process
The first step in the home study process is to request information and an application from our agency. Once this request is processed you will receive an information packet containing an application and our agency guidelines.
After your application has been submitted, you will be assigned a social worker who will be working with you to complete your home study.
There are a number of documents you will need to gather before the process begins, as your social worker will collect this information during his or her first in-home visit.
The Texas Family Code requires that a background check be completed for each prospective adoptive parent and each person age 14 and older that resides in the home.
After being assigned to your family, your home study social worker will schedule your first home visit. During this visit he or she will observe your family life and inspect the safety of your home.
During your home visit, your social worker will interview each resident of your home. This is his or her chance to really get to know your personalities as well as your thoughts on adoption, ensuring her and the child-placing agency that you are ready to become parents.
Once the above steps have been completed, your social worker will complete a written report of his or her observations along with their recommendations for your family, which often includes the age range, number of children and race of children suitable to be placed in your home.
Once this has been done, you can submit your home study to your adoption agency for approval. This is often the final step before the agency begins searching for potential adoption matches. You are now on your way to becoming parents!
A home study update will need to be completed if there are any major changes in your life, such as a job change or relocation. You will also need to renew your home study on a yearly basis.
Once a child has been placed in your home, your social worker will conduct a series of up to 6 post-placement home visits. These visits serve to ensure that you and the child are adjusting well to one another.
Similar to filing out a job application, you will be asked to submit three to five reference letters from individuals who are not related to you. This can be a family friend, co-worker, boss, teacher, pastor, neighbor or anyone else who knows you well.