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Adoption Home Study FAQs

Adoption Home Study FAQs

One of the most nerve wracking elements of the adoption process is the Home Study. Adoptive parents are always nervous bordering on terrified. If you find that you have more questions than answers regarding what to expect from an upcoming Home Study, go through the frequently asked questions below to put your mind at ease.

Question: What issues should we discuss together before sitting down to meet with the social worker?

Answer: Some of the issues that you might want to be prepared to discuss with the social worker include: your motivation for the adoption, ideas on parenting and discipline, a disaster plan/s for your home, your estate plan/whether or not you have a will in place and who will care for your children upon your death.

Question: How long does the home study typically take to complete?

Answer: The home study can take anywhere from three to six months. The time period varies depending upon the social worker’s schedule, the needs of the child being adopted, how quickly you are able to complete the necessary forms and obtain required documents, and the state agency.

Question: What documents will I need to have on hand for the home study?

Answer: Packets very by state, but some of the more obvious documents that you will most likely need to have on hand include: marriage certificate (if applicable), birth certificates, recent physical from a doctor, TB test or chest x-ray, financial information (W-2, pay stubs, income tax information, etc.), insurance policy coverage info, info for 3-4 references, etc.

Question: Is the home study a required part of the process?

Answer: Yes, the home study is a required part of the process in every state. In Arizona there are two types of home studies: the full home study as outlined or a more limited process that involves a full background check and review of CPS reports (in certain circumstances where the adoptive parent is closely related to the child or a step parent).

Rest assured that almost every adoptive parent is somewhere between nervous and terrified about the home study. Something about having a social worker in your home asking you questions makes adoptive parents feel that they need to be perfect. The best advice available for a successful home study is: Don't try to be perfect. No one is perfect; attempting to portray this impossibility will simply be a red flag for the social worker. Be honest. Know that you aren’t alone in being nervous about the home study and how it could affect your adoption. It’s normal to be nervous. Just remember to be yourself.

If you need additional information regarding the home study and how to navigate the private adoption system, contact Arizona Family Law Attorneys

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