What is a Home Study and why is it necessary?

A homestudy, or home study, is basically an interview with a social worker.

You can expect a minimum of 3 visits, some of which are required to be in your home. The social worker will want to interview you and your family, check your finances, run a criminal background check, receive documented proof of your health and interview your references.

Your social worker may ask about your family origins, your idea of parenting practices, the state of your marriage, religious beliefs and practices, and what type of child you are considering for adoption. In other words, they'll be putting together a complete family history or biography.

They want to know who you are and why you want to adopt, if you are ready for adoption and if you will be able to support a child financially, physically and emotionally or mentally.

A homestudy is very important. It's for the safety and well-being of the child(ren) they may place with you and your family. By conducting a thorough home study an agency can, hopefully, screen out people who want to adopt for the wrong reasons, who would be unsuitable parents, who could not provide adequately for a child. It can also help them to avoid putting an innocent child in an unstable, abusive or otherwise unhealthy situation. They can also be useful when it comes to matching you with a child.

Home studies sound intimidating but people go through the process successfully all of the time.


In private adoptions, the birthmother uses a homestudy to decide if you are right to adopt her child. So make it a good one. I have looked at many of them. They really do make all the difference in the world. Making a homestudy is your chance to show how much you really do want a child, so allow it to fully represent you and don't mind throwing some extra work into it.


When adopting through the state, the home study is reviewed by child's team: caseworker(s), therapist(s), Guardian Ad Litem, Attourney Ad Litem, and possibly the Foster Parents (house parent if in a group home); this is done during something called a "match staffing" (at least in the areas that I am familiar with). They'll use your home study, and possible some phone interviews to narrow down the list of potential matches. If you are looking at children that are available on one of the websites (like adopt us kids, or various heart galleries) then you would wind up sending your home study to the point of contact for that agency.