What is an Adoption Home Study?
The adoption home study is an overview of a hopeful adoptive family’s life that is conducted by an adoption professional. During this process, your adoption professional 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 residents 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 approved 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 complete the home study application and pay the application fee. Contact us to start the adoption home study process here.
After your application has been submitted, you will create an online account that will enable you to complete and upload the rest of the documents that are required. You will have a Home Study Specialist who will be your contact person throughout the process.
Your online account includes a list of required documents that you will upload during the home study process.
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. Since some states require clearances for age 12 and older, we may request background check forms for anyone in your home who is age 12 and older.
After being assigned to your family, your adoption professional will schedule your 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 adoption professional will interview each resident of your home. This is 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 adopt a child or children. A tour of your home will be completed to make certain that no safety hazards exist, but there will not be a “white-glove” test.
Once the above steps have been completed, your adoption professional will complete a written report of 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.
You will be given a copy of the home study to review for factual errors. If required by your placement agency, a copy will be sent to them for approval. Once the home study is approved, you will be mailed the completed home study. You have now completed the home study step of your adoption journey!
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 adoption professional will conduct a series of up to six post-placement home visits. These visits serve to ensure that you and the child are adjusting well to one another.
Similar to filling 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.
Begin your home study for adoption now by filling out the application online here.