The Home Study FAQ
All states require adoptive parents to undergo an investigation to make sure they are fit to raise a child. Here's what to expect.
What is a home study?
All states require adoptive parents to undergo an investigation to make sure that they are fit to raise a child. This investigation is called a home study. Typically, the study is conducted by a state agency or a licensed social worker who examines the adoptive parents' home life and prepares a report that the court will review before allowing the adoption to take place. Some states do not require a report to be submitted to a court, however; these states allow the agency or social worker to decide whether the prospective parents are fit to adopt. Common areas of inquiry include:
- financial stability
- marital stability
- other children
- career obligations
- physical and mental health, and
- criminal history.
If your home study results in a negative report which claims you are unsuited to adopt, you may contest it. Each state has different appeal procedures. Some states provide for a separate procedure, while other states make the appeal part of the adoption hearing.