Home Studies and Post-Adoption Services
Children’s House International is a non-profit international adoption agency, COA Hague Accredited, and licensed in good standing in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Texas, Utah, and Washington State founded in 1975.
Children’s House International has social workers with over 100 years of combined social service experience. They are available for adoptive training, and support every step of the way and that includes once you arrive home with your adopted child.
Providing services in child placement and home studies and post adoptive services for international adoptions.
We provide the following social services:
- Adoption homestudy evaluation for Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Texas, Utah, and Washington State families adopting internationally
- Homestudy reviews for all out-of-state families who wish to adopt through Children’s House International programs
- Post placement supervision and counseling for adoptive families
Our primary goal is to provide permanent families for children. We believe that every child deserves, and is entitled to, the love and security of belonging to a family.
What is a home study?
The homestudy is a pre-placement report that provides an evaluation of your ability to parent a child adopted internationally and is also an intricate part of your parent education. The homestudy is a written evaluation of the findings of the social worker, who has met with the applicants on several occasions, both individually and together. At least one meeting will occur in the applicant’s home. If there are other people living in the home, they also will be interviewed by the social worker.
Timeline you can expect
On average the homestudy process takes three to six months to complete. The homestudy process, the contents of the written homestudy report, and the time it will take to complete vary from state to state and how motivated the prospective adoptive parents are to complete the paperwork and how busy the social worker is. All of these factors can affect the home study time line.
What’s does it include?
- Personal and family background-including upbringing, siblings, key events, and what was learned from them
- Significant people in the lives of the applicants
- Marriage and family relationships
- Motivation to adopt
- Expectations for the child
- Feelings about infertility (if this is an issue)
- Parenting and integration of the child into the family
- Family environment
- Physical and health history of the applicants
- Education, employment and finances-including insurance coverage and child care plans if needed
- A statement describing the counseling and training provided to the prospective adoptive parents
- References and criminal background clearances
- Summary and social worker’s recommendation that includes the characteristics of the children for whom the prospective adoptive parent(s) would be qualified to care (specifically in particular whether they are willing and able to care for an child with special needs
The home study is more than a visit to your home, it is an interview and educational process resulting in a condensed, written description of your history, values and personality. It describes your childhood and growing up years, education and work experience. It also is the story of your choice of life partner and children that you already have in your home if that is the case. Anyone reading your home study will have a snapshot of your life and of the events that have shaped you into the person and family that you are. It sounds rather intimidating at first, but the process provides a great opportunity for adoptive parents to learn even more about each other. Your home study also discusses what has motivated you to adopt, the training that has prepared you for welcoming a new child into your home and describes the resources that you have available to assist you during that process.
Why is it so important?
A home study is a legal document that describes each individual in a family with the primary focus on the adoptive parents. A home study determines whether or not the family meets requirements to adopt and the type of child they are best suited to parent . It is used by immigration to verify that the family meets the requirements to bring an orphan into the United States. The home study is also used to complete a re-adoption after the child comes to the US and settles into the home and new life.
The home study process begins with an application and home study fee. The home study process includes both paperwork and interviews. The prospective adoptive parents provide copies of birth and marriage certificates, tax returns, medical exam forms and a variety of other documents. In addition, each parent fills out an autobiographical questionnaire in which they answer questions concerning childhood life experiences, education, current and past marriages and personal experience with or theory on parenting and discipline. The interviews include the couple together, each prospective adoptive parent individually, a visit to the home and interviews with any children or other individuals living in the home.
Criminal and child abuse checks are completed on the prospective adoptive parents. Local state criminal checks are completed; fingerprints are cleared through the FBI and child abuse checks are completed for at least the past five years wherever the family has lived. If a home study is being completed for a country that is a party to the Hague Convention, child abuse checks are completed on the prospective adoptive parents for each place they have resided since turning 18 years of age. This is easily done for a family that has moved rarely or not at all, but can be a bit daunting to a military family or similar family with history of many moves. A home study can generally be completed in two to four months. The home study always takes at least as long as it takes for your FBI fingerprints results to come back from DC, but generally if a family is highly motivated to get paperwork in it can be accomplished in a shorter period and the family that takes more time over paperwork can see the process stretch out longer. All home studies require time to think about and process the information that has been given. You can think of it in terms of your worker constantly researching and completing a term paper on your life.
For more information and to speak to a social worker licensed in Florida, Louisiana, Massachusetts, Texas, Utah, and Washington State please click here.
For more information on the paperwork and process including fees click here. To review our financial agreement, including our agency documents, or the number of adoption placements per year for the prior 3 calendar years, the number of placements that remain intact, the number of families who apply to adopt each year, and the number of waiting children eligible for adoption.click here.