What is the home study?

One of the first steps in the adoption process will be to complete a home study. When this is completed, there will be a written report that meets the requirements for state licensing and for court. Having an approved home study provides assurance to birth parents that the adoptive family has been thoroughly prepared and been found to be suitable for adoption in all aspects.

How long does the home study take?

There are typically a total of three one- to two-hour sessions with a social worker over the course of several weeks or a couple of months. In Michigan, the entire home study process must be completed within 90 days.

How should I prepare my home?

The social worker will visit your home at least one time during the process. He or she will assess the home for safety and suitability for a child. The visit will include a tour of the home and property. You can expect to discuss any areas that might cause safety concerns, including things like household pets, weapons in the home, water hazards on the property, and general maintenance and upkeep of the environment.

How much detail is covered in the home study process?

You can expect to have several conversations with your social worker about topics including: your childhood and upbringing, educational and career history, marriage relationship and other support systems, your hobbies and interests, views on parenting, your health, your finances, and your motivation for adoption. In the end, we want to be confident that you are prepared and capable to provide a great environment for an adopted child.

What else is needed through the home study process?

You’ll need to complete background checks, get medical reports from your doctors, provide personal references, and verify your financial, income, and employment information.

What else should I be considering?

Every member of the household needs to be included in the home study process. Talk to your social worker early if you have other adults living in your home.

The original home study is valid for one year. If you haven’t had a placement by the one-year mark, you’ll need an update to your study.

If there are changes to the information covered in the home study while it is valid you may need to have an addendum completed. Examples of when an addendum is needed include things like moving to a new home, adding a family member to the household, and having a change in income/employment status.

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