If you are pursuing a foster care or private agency adoption, the agency will set up your home study with their own social worker. If you are pursuing a private adoption (including step-parent or second-parent), you will need to arrange for your own home study, with the exception of a few counties that have their probation department perform home studies.
For home studies in private adoptions, you will pay a fee directly to the social worker who performs the home study. The fees typically range from $450-$1,500, depending on the provider and the circumstances of your case. Our firm can provide you with referrals to qualified social workers near you to complete your home study.
The social worker will come to your home to meet with you and the child, if the child is already living with you. The social worker will tour your home to make sure it is safe for a child, has smoke detectors and carbon monoxide detectors, and that there is an appropriate room for the child. The social worker will also have a lengthy discussion with you which will include the following topics:
- your family history and relationships
- your educational background
- your relationship history (unless you’re a single person)
- how the placement came about (if you’ve already been matched)
- the child’s health (if the child is already living with you)
- your health
- your parenting and discipline style
- your religious background, if any
- your openness to interracial adoption
- your openness to adopting a disabled child
- what ages you’re willing to adopt
- whether you’re willing/able to adopt a sibling group (typically in foster care)
- the level of openness you are comfortable with post-adoption
- your criminal history
- your child abuse/neglect history
- your finances
The social worker will then draft a report that is submitted to the Court. If you have any concerns about the home study process or any of the topics to be discussed, our firm can talk those through with you before your home study takes place.