Home Study for International Adoption

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. 

Our social worker, Jennifer (below) has been with our agency for over a decade. 

Once the home study is completed, it will be submitted to USCIS for their approval per Hague Adoption Regulations. 

Home Studies FAQ

What is 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

Related Article | Home Studies for US Citizens Living Abroad


Home Study Fees 

Home Study Fees
Application$200Due with applicaiton
Payment 1$1,350Due shortly after application w contract
Payment 2$1,350Due when home study is complete

Home Study Fees – US Citizens Living Abroad


Home Study Fees – US Citizens Living Abroad
Application$200Due with applicaiton
Payment 1$1,350Due shortly after application w contract
Payment 2$1,350Due when home study is complete
Additional expenses will include:
Approximate Additional Expenses for Expats 
Low EstimateHigh Estimate
Hotel (3 – 4 nights)$300$600
Parking in NC$120$160
Cell Phone Travel Pass$30$50
To estimate expense for hotels in different countries we use: Click Here


Related Article | Fees for US Citizens Living Abroad

Who Will Do My Home Study?

If you live in North Carolina, we will do your home study for you.

If you are a US Citizen living overseas, we will do your home study.

If you live in any state outside of North Carolina, we will supervise your home study.  A local agency will do the work on the ground through an exempt services provider agreement with our agency.

We have over 18 years of experience and 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.  

See Waiting Children

Bulgaria Adoption

Poland Adoption

Home Studies for Expats

Today's Verse:  -Joshua 1:9-

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go