What does Home Study mean?
The home study is the evaluation of the adoptive parent's home prior to adoption. The goals of the home study are to educate and to prepare the adoptive family for adoption, to understand whether the potential family is fit to adopt, and to help the social worker place the right child with the right family. Specific home study requirements and processes vary greatly from agency to agency and whether the family is seeking an international or a domestic adoption.
A home study generally follows several interviews by a social worker. The interviews will involve discussions about the adoptive parent's experiences with children, their relationships, their approach to parenting, and how they handle stress. After interviews are completed the agency will come to the adoptive parent's home to ensure their home is a safe place for a child and will meet the State licensing standards. The inspection is less about the cleanliness of the home, although standards of cleanliness are expected, and more about the adoptive parent's ability to accommodate a new child into their home. If the family is planning an international adoption there are specific arrangements which must be met under the Hague Convention. Other requirements must also be met such as meeting basic financial, health and physical requirements and passing a background check.
At the completion of the home study the social worker will write a home study report which may later be used to introduce the prospective adoptive family to other agencies or adoption exchanges. This report will include information about the family's background, religious affiliation, employment, education, relationships and daily life. A recommendation from the social worker will also be included within the home study report.