Adoption Lingo: What Is a Homestudy?


Beginning the adoption journey can be intimidating for a first-time adoptive family. Common lingo in the adoption world may feel foreign to a newcomer.  With the first step of the process being a homestudy, it may leave you with many questions.

A home study is an evaluation of each potential adoptive family prior to the placement of a child in the home. The purpose of a home study is to completely and accurately assess the readiness of an adoptive family to ensure the placement is made in the best interest of the adoptive child and the adoptive family.

The home study process usually includes at least four interviews by a social worker. At least one visit/interview will be in the adoptive family’s home. These interviews will help your social worker to evaluate your:

  • Evaluate your adoption motivation
  • Family backgrounds
  • Marriage stability
  • Financial ability
  • Physical condition
  • Understanding of parenthood
  • Home and community environment
  • Support system
  • And other relevant issues to determine your readiness for adoption

It usually takes  six to eight weeks for a social worker to complete your home study and write a home study report based on federal, state, and country requirements, however this time can vary depending on multiple  factors.  

An approved country-specific home study report  is required to approve you for both USCIS and the country you are planning to adopt from.  Therefore, the home study is an extremely important part of the adoption process.  Your home study will also be a part of your dossier that will go to the country  you are adopting from.

For more info on Dossiers, check out our blog Adoption Lingo: What Is a Dossier?

A special thank you to CCAI for their assistance with this information! 


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Traci Mai

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