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Click here for more FAQ's about Post Placement Supervision and Re-Adoption

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 attorney.

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 your family.

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 housekeeping standards.

Health Statements
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.

Financial Statements
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.

Background Checks
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.

Biographical Statements
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.