A Home Study is usually the first step in the adoption process once you have decided to adopt. Any adoption, whether international or domestic, will require a home study. A home study is a visit to your home by a trained social worker to determine the readiness of both your family and your home atmosphere for placement of adopted child. You will want to make sure your social worker is licensed to do home studies in the state where you reside. For international adoptions, you also want to make sure your social worker can create a Hague Convention compliant home study if it’s required for the country you intend to adopt from.
While there are different requirements depending upon whether you’re adopting domestically or internationally, and there are also different requirements depending upon what foreign country you’re adopting from, in general, home studies require one to four face-to-face visits between the social worker and the prospective parents. The visits are typically in the prospective parents’ home and sometimes include required parenting classes that may be given by the social worker at a local library or bookstore. The social worker will then prepare a written report approving the prospective parents for adopting a child. Beyond the actual home study, some social workers will also counsel and assist the parents as they negotiate the paperwork process.
A Home Study is not a white-glove inspection of your home and you don’t need to redecorate in preparation for your home study. A social worker is visiting your home to make sure it is safe for a child to live there. They expect your home to be “lived in”, but want to make sure you have room for a child and can provide a safe and loving home for the child. If you are nervous about your home study, feel free to ask your social worker any questions you may have in advance of the visit.
For more information on having a home study done in the State of Florida, contact Sunshine State Adoption & Home Study Services. They are licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Family Services to conduct home studies and have extensive experience with domestic and both Hague Convention and non-Hague Convention international home studies.