A home study is a document prepared by an agency social worker, which details the adopting families’ personal feelings and values surrounding child rearing, development, and other interpersonal issues. It is a requirement for any adoption. Adoption STAR believes that home studies should be viewed as an educational process to allow the clients and agency to get to know each other and to identify what adoption path the client is most comfortable with.
Though a home study is required by law prior to an adoption placement, Adoption STAR conducts their home studies in a way in which they are not viewed as just a “stamp of approval” to adopt. The home study should include three visits with a social worker, one of which must be in the home of the prospective adoptive family.
Issues that may be explored during an adoption study
- Ability to provide for a child’s physical and emotional needs.
- Feelings about parenting an adopted child and the ability to make a commitment to a child placed in the home.
- Type of child family seeks to adopt.
- Family’s child rearing practices, experiences, and beliefs.
- Information concerning marital relationship, emotional, and financial status, etc.
- Description of the family’s home and community.
New York State, Florida and Ohio Applicants:
Adoption STAR will conduct home studies for prospective clients throughout New York State, Florida, and Ohio. Adoption STAR has qualified staff throughout these states to assist families throughout the home study and adoption process. Adoption STAR is able to conduct home studies for those interested in pursuing a domestic agency adoption, private adoption, international adoption and kinship adoption.
Adoption STAR’s home study often includes educational classes as well as private appointments with a social worker.
Adoption professionals recommend that agencies be involved in preparing the home study, home study update, and post placement process for many reasons.
Post Placement Supervision
Following placement of a child, an adoptive family is required to go through a supervisory period that includes home visits by a social worker. Typically it is at least a three-month supervisory period, where a social worker from the agency will meet the adoptive parents and their child at least three times. The specified time period and number of visits is often based on the type of adoption and where the child was born. Each state and country may have their own requirements.
This process is much like the home study process, except the emphasis will be placed on the development of the child and on the family dynamics now that the child is placed. Adoption STAR conducts post-placement supervision throughout New York State, Florida and Ohio.
An Agency Offers You:
Private individuals are not supervised by any entity. An agency’s fees and policies are reviewed by officials.
An agency home study can be used for all types of adoptions including public and private agency adoptions, international and domestic adoptions, interstate adoptions, independent adoptions, etc. More
Agencies are better equipped to serve their clients with more internal resources, services and referrals. Adoption agencies are often much more than .. More
Agencies use an educational approach when conducting a home study. Adoption STAR has prepared an adoptive parent training curriculum that is utilized during the.. More
Homestudy Preparation Tips
There are several paperwork requirements during the home study, and some may take awhile to process. The following are things you can do to get ready for the home study process:
- Order certified copies of birth certificates, marriage license, and divorce decree 1
It can take awhile for these certified documents to arrive, so having them before you start the home study process will expedite things. All household members (children and adults) are required to submit birth certificates. Even if you don’t start your adoption journey for a while, it doesn’t hurt to have extra copies of birth certificates at home.
- Schedule a physical with your doctor
Adoption STAR will provide a Medical Form for each household member’s physician to complete. It is not uncommon see appointments needing to be made weeks out. If you know you will be starting the adoption process soon, scheduling a doctor’s appointment will reduce future stress.
- Identify who your references will be
Adoption STAR will provide four non-family and one family reference a form to complete and send back to us during the home study process. The turnaround time for completed references to come in often hold up the paperwork process for our families. We suggest reaching out to those you would like to be references and ask that when they receive a form from Adoption STAR, they complete it and return it in a timely manner.
- Research the addresses you have lived at
For anyone in New York State, you will thank yourself for having done this when your home study begins. The form required for New York State agencies to complete child abuse clearances involves listing addresses anyone 18+ years of age in the home have lived in for the past 28 years. Dorms and student housing do not count, as permanent addresses are required.
- Gather most recent 1040 and W-2
Adoption STAR requires proof of income and current employment status. For those who do not receive a W-2, paystubs (will need to be recent paystubs at the time of submission), Schedule C, or similar items will suffice.
- Identify photos for your profile book
Those pursuing a domestic adoption will be creating a profile book prior to home study completion. Now is a great time to start collecting photos you may want to display in that book. Photos of you, family, friends, hobbies, travel, wedding, etc. If you do not have many pictures of yourselves, start taking them!