Home Study FAQ
Q: What is a Florida Home Study?
A: 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. Sunshine State Adoption and Home Study Services is licensed by the Florida Department of Children and Family Services to conduct home studies and has extensive experience with domestic and both Hague Convention and non-Hague Convention international home studies.
Q: What does a Home Study Entail?
A: 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, our social workers will also counsel and assist the parents as they negotiate the paperwork process.
Q: How long does the process take?
Most home studies are completed within 30 days. This time frame is mostly dependent on how quickly the adoptive parents secure the paperwork required by the various agencies. In other words, we can complete the home study as quickly as you can provide the paperwork.
It is not uncommon for emergencies/wonderful surprises to occur and in these cases we can work around-the-clock to expedite a home study so that the adoptive child can be placed in their forever home as quickly as possible. There is no additional fee charged if your home study needs to be expedited.
Q: What does the home study cost?
A: Cost may vary depending upon a number of factors; however, our basic cost for a completed home study is $1,200 for domestic and $1,400 for international. Post-placement visits/reports are $250 each. During our initial consultation we will let you know if there will be any additional expenses after determining the circumstances of your adoption. There is no charge for the initial consultation.
Q: Why should I choose Sunshine State?
A: All of our social workers are adoptive parents. As such we are empathetic to our clients' needs and anxieties, because we've been through the process ourselves. We've filled out the same paperwork you will. We've had the same questions and concerns you might (or will) have.
Beyond our own personal adoption experiences, our social workers have years of practical experience conducting home studies and assisting adoptive parents before and after the adoption placement. Our social workers have conducted educational presentations at seminars for adoption professionals and regularly present classes to adoptive parents on a wide variety of adoption-related issues.
In short, we have both the personal and educational experience to serve as an invaluable resource to you during your adoption journey.
Q: What are some things you'll be looking for when you come to our home?
A: It is not a white-glove inspection of your home. We expect your home to be "lived-in." We're mainly looking to assure that the home is a safe environment and that you have sufficient room for the child.
Q: When are the home visits conducted?
A: We will meet at a time that is convenient for you, working around your work or school schedule. Most of our home visits take place during the evening or on weekends, so you don't have to take time off from work or school. We'd much rather you save your time off for when you need it most - when your new child comes home!