The Home Study Process Explained in 6 Steps
- Finding a safe and loving home for an adopted child starts with an adoptive home study. At Adoption & Beyond, we work with expecting parents and hopeful adoptive families across Kansas and Missouri from all sides of the adoption process – including the home study process.
If you’re exploring adoption, it’s important and helpful to understand the entire home study process. Knowing what is involved in a home study, it’s normal to be a little nervous – but having an idea of exactly what to expect during this process can help put you at ease. To help hopeful adoptive families prepare for this part of their journey, we break down what’s involved in the process and how we can help you along the way.
What is a home study?
A home study is a comprehensive evaluation of your family life and home environment. When prospective adoptive parents apply to adopt a child, it’s required by law in all 50 states that applicants undergo a “home study.”
During a home study, an adoption caseworker visits the adoption applicants to learn more about you and see where and how you live. This process is also meant to help you create a partnership with your home study caseworker so that you feel comfortable sharing things with them in the future. You can learn more about what an adoptive home study is here.
What are the steps of the home study process?
The home study process is similar for everyone. There will also be some unique differences depending on the details of your situation.The average home study process takes 1 to 2 months to complete, but it can take longer depending upon the size and dynamics of your family. These are the general steps required by most families’ home studies for adoption:
Step 1: Find an adoption home study provider in your area.
You’ll want to find a licensed child placement agency near you. At Adoption & Beyond, we work with expecting parents and hopeful adoptive families across Kansas and Missouri from all sides of the adoption process. This includes adoptive home study services.
Step 2: Complete the home study application paperwork.
The home study application paperwork provides your caseworker with information they’ll need to conduct the study. The paperwork you complete involves sharing your personal background, financial stability, and other relevant information required by your state of residence. After you submit all your home study paperwork, you’ll be matched with your nearest caseworker.
Step 3: Working with your assigned home study coordinator to go over the home study materials.
This is where you’ll begin developing a trusting relationship with your home study coordinator so that you feel comfortable with the process and sharing information with them in the future. They will prepare you for what to expect out of the process.
Step 4: Attend an educational adoption workshop
A good agency requires training for hopeful adoptive parents during the home study process. This training helps prospective parents better understand adoption, the needs of birth parents and children as they grow.
Step 5: Your home visits and interviews with your caseworker.
After your paperwork has been completed and returned to the adoption agencies office, your caseworker will schedule and begin conducting your home visit and interviews. This will happen typically within 2-3 weeks.
Step 6: Complete the home study report.
At the end of your home study, your caseworker creates a written report. You get the opportunity to review the report and verify that the information is correct during this last part of the home study process.
The home study process can be nerve racking – but with the right professional guidance and thoughtful help with preparation, any hopeful adoptive parents can complete their home study with little or no stress. Once you complete the home study, you are so much closer to bringing your child home.
How we can help you get started
Adopting a child is a beautiful way to build a family. But before you start building your family, a home study helps your adoption agency understand your current readiness for taking on the role of an adoptive parent. We know that this process can be stressful and overwhelming. At Adoption & Beyond, we help take that stress away by helping you every step of the way through the entire process.
Adoption & Beyond is a home study provider in the Kansas and Missouri area. We’ve created a free Home Study Process Guide that outlines exactly what you need to do and the steps you need to take to help you get started with the process. This guide has all of the application links, information, workshop dates, fee schedules broken down step-by-step, and more. You can download the free Home Study Process Guide below.
If you are a family residing in Kansas and Missouri and are looking for help navigating the adoption process, we invite you to reach out to Adoption & Beyond. View Home Study Services Provided by Adoption & Beyond here.