FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ABOUT THE HOME STUDY
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What is a home study?
A home study is a written report containing the findings of a social worker who has met on several occasions with the prospective adoptive parents, has visited their home, and has investigated their family, health, finances, medical and criminal background. If there are other individuals living in the home of the prospective adoptive parents, they will also be interviewed and investigated by the social worker and included as part of the home study. The purpose of the home study is to educate families about adoption and to determine whether the prospective adoptive parents are qualified to adopt a child, based on criteria that have been established by law.
How long will the home study take and can I use it for more than one adoption?
The time it takes to complete a home study depends in large part on how quickly you
can complete the required documents and visits. The sooner you can complete your
paperwork and the more flexible you are in scheduling your face to face appointments
the sooner your home study will be completed. With that said, most home studies are
completed within 90 days. You cannot use the same home study for more than one
adoption however you can adopt several children at the same time such as twins or a
sibling group or multiple un-related children.
How much does a home study cost and does the home study expire?
Our fees are competitive and based on what is typical for your area. Please contact us
to find out what our current fees are. Payment of the home study fee does not
guarantee approval of a home study. The home study fee is paid in full in advance of
the home study and is non-refundable in the event that the prospective adoptive
parent(s) decide(s) to discontinue the home study. The home study fee does not
include the application fee nor any fees for criminal history background checks, child
protective service clearances or post placement services, or any other additional
services or forms that may be required by your placement agency or adoption
AAI accepts the following forms of payment:
personal or bank check, cash or
money order payable to AUTUMN ADOPTIONS INC.
Virginia Law requires that your home study be updated every 36 months until such
time that a child is placed in your home or whenever you have significant changes to
your home, family or financial situation. If you are pursuing an international adoption,
you may need to update your report sooner due to the expiration of your 171 approval
or other requirements from your placement agency. You should always keep your
home study up to date because you never know when you may get a referral or a call
that a baby is about to be born!
What might disqualify our family from adopting?
Most families are approved to adopt, however, a serious criminal record, history of
child abuse or neglect of a child in your care or any other overriding safety concerns may preclude the agency from approving your family. While the
vast majority of prospective adoptive parents have no criminal or child abuse history, it
is important for children's safety to identify those few families who might put children
at risk. For more information please see the Virginia Dept. of Social Services website
for a list of barrier crimes. Barrier crimes are criminal offenses that would prevent you
from being able to be approved for adoption.
|General Home Study Requirements
Virginia requires a minimum of 3 face to
face interviews one of which must be with
each applicant individually and one of which
must take place in the home. These interviews help you develop a
relationship with your social worker and enable him or her to better understand
A Home Visit
The home visit primarily serves
to ensure your home and living conditions
are suitable for the child you have
requested. Social workers are not inspecting your
Each prospective adoptive parent will be required to have a physical exam. The purpose of the exam is to know that the prospective parents are essentially healthy, have a normal life expectancy, and are physically and mentally able to handle the care of a child.
The prospective parents are asked to verify their income by providing a letter from their employer, copies of paycheck stubs and income tax statements. You will also be asked about savings, insurance policies and other investments and debts.
Each prospective adoptive parent and anyone adult living in the home will be required to have a criminal clearance. Any adult or child age 14 or more must have a child abuse and neglect clearance. We must also check the child abuse record for any state in which you have lived in within the past 5 years. It is important to note that criminal and child abuse clearances must be no more than 90 days old when the home study is approved.
Each prospective adoptive parent will be asked to write an autobiographical statement. This is, essentially, the story of your life. This statement is used to write the report and helps the social worker better understand your family.
The social worker will ask you for the names, addresses, telephone numbers and email addresses of three individuals to serve as references for you. References help the social worker form a more complete picture of your family and support network. References should be non-relatives who have known you for at least two years and who have observed you in many different situations.