A home study is a document prepared by a licensed social worker in your state that examines every aspect of your family’s life. It includes finances, health, marital history, background checks, your feelings about adoption, why you are pursuing adoption, relationships with extended family, anticipation of parenting styles, and a description of your home and neighborhood. This document will end in a recommendation that you will or will not be allowed to adopt.

Completing this step is usually the second step in your adoption journey. Once this is completed, you are eligible to adopt and can be matched with a child. Every person/couple hoping to adopt must complete a home study.

If you are adopting internationally, your home study will likely be more intensive than if you were adopting domestically. This is because you have to meet the requirements set by the US government and the country you are adopting from. Many countries have extra requirements in order for you to adopt from them. Some require you to have been married for a minimum number of years, while others want you to be older than the child by a set amount of years. It’s a good idea to make sure you qualify to adopt from a certain country before you move forward with the home study.