What is an Adoption Home Study?

What is a Home Study?

The adoption home study is one of the big chunks of paperwork which the adoptive parents will go through in order to get approved to be found as eligible adoptive parents.  Though the home study has several functions, one of the main components is to determine that the parents seeking to adopt in fact qualify to do so.  In this document, which is prepared by a licensed adoption agency who uses qualified social workers, there will be sections providing detailing information about the candidates.  Once it is completed, it will be submitted to USCIS for their approval per Hague Adoption Regulations. 

Home Study Process

Key Sections in Adoption Home Study

A Background check: 

The social worker, with the assistance of the supervising adoption agency, will run a background check in order to describe if the adoptive parents have any criminal history. If a record exists, the social worker will describe it and explain how it has been resolved. Having a record does not automatically disqualify adoptive parents.  As adoption professionals, often times we see teenage/college mistakes that are a part of our parents’ records.  Most often such incidents don’t pose a problem in the approval process.  Of course each case is different so we are not trying to generalize, but our advice to you is to be upfront about any such history with your home study agency and your adoption agency.  Most adoption professionals will be able to judge whether they can help you given the requirements that we need to follow per US law and our specific foreign country’s laws.

Medical Section – Health of the Adoptive Parents:  

This section of the adoption home study will describe the parents’ health.  We will give you a form, which resemble an yearly physical which you will take to your doctor and have them fill out, while performing the necessary tests in order to answer some of the questions.  Again, you don’t have to be in “perfect health” (if there is such a thing) to adopt internationally.  Some countries may be tougher than others, but our countries of Poland and Bulgaria are quite reasonable.  Bulgaria is a bit easier than Poland.  In either case, most everyone has some medical issues which they are currently dealing with or have dealt with in the past.  Whenever appropriate, this may require that you seek out an additional medical letter from a Medical Doctor explaining what the condition means and how it is being managed. 

Child Abuse History: 

The social worker will submit on the parents’ behalf an inquiry to the states in which the parents have resided in in order to get this clearance.  This is done so that the social worker may be able to document that the candidates do not have any such history.  This is an important part of the adoption home study as it is also reviewed by the US authorities later as is the criminal history. 

Family Life:  

The adoption home study is not all legalistic in nature.  It also has sections that describe who you are as a person and as a family.  It will show what your hobbies are, what you enjoy doing with your family and as an individual.  This section will help those that don’t know you to better understand who you are.  These sections, we believe are used by the foreign central authorities in the matching process of the adoption. So they are lighthearted  in nature, they need to be written very well in a concise yet personable manner as we’ve developed in our adoption home study templates over the years of experience.

International Adoption Preparation:  

Another important aspect of the adoption home study is its function to prepare adaptive parents for the adoption process.  This is most often done with the clinical social worker’s assistance in pointing the adoptive parents to educational courses, as well as being there in person, as someone who is knowledgeable and has the experience to give advice, help prepare, and help answer questions that the parents may have.  To read more about the home study requirements, please see the Department of State’s website here

Our Home Study Partners

Who Will Do My Adoption Home Study?


If you live in North Carolina, we will do your home study for you. If not, that is okay.  Over our 15 years of experience, we’ve developed many healthy relationships with home study providers in other states.  We have St. Mary’s parents whom we have helped complete their adoptions in over 30 different states! Because of this experience we can most likely easily put you in touch with an adoption home study agency to help you through this part of the process, under our supervision.  

 How Much is an Adoption Home Study? 


Of course different agencies will charge differently for their services.  The home study fees are due to the agency performing this service. 

To see our fees for an adoption home study, please click below.  

Home Study Agencies We Know

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See Our Home Study Fees

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