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What Does the Adoption Home Study Cost?

A Breakdown of Typical Home Study Fees

The total cost associated with the adoption process is impacted by many different things, and one of those is the adoption home study.

Any family considering adoption will need to complete a home study. This is true for domestic, foster care and international adoption. The point of the home study is to ensure that a family is truly prepared for the responsibility that comes with bringing a child home through adoption. It is a review of a family’s lifestyle and living situation that is meant to protect children.

As a part of the adoption process that involves a professional social worker, adoption agency and lots of paperwork, the home study isn’t free. This leaves many families wondering about the adoption home study cost. What exactly goes into it, and do home study costs change with different agencies? We’re going to provide the answers in this guide to adoption home study fees.

What Determines the Adoption Home Study Cost?

There isn’t a flat rate for home study costs. Each situation is different, and there are several factors that can influence the adoption home study fees you will see. The type of adoption can change the cost — international home studies often cost more than domestic home studies. The state you live in can also cause the home study cost to go up or down, as some states have stricter standards that increase costs.

The home study professional you work with will influence the price, too. Professionals structure their fees differently, and a family will often pay fees for services like:

How Much Does a Home Study Cost?

So, what does all of that come out to? The adoption home study cost can vary widely, but typically ranges from $900 to $3,000. The unique details of your circumstances, like where you live and the type of adoption you are pursuing, will determine where your home study costs will fall in that range.

Can I Find a More Affordable Home Study?

Families who are concerned about the cost of adoption may look to the adoption home study as a cost-cutting option. There has to be a way to find a more affordable adoption home study, right? The answer is yes, but there are significant potential drawbacks.

Every part of the adoption process is highly technical, and it takes many different professionals to complete an adoption successfully. As with any other part of the adoption process, you get what you pay for when it comes to home studies. If you are quoted a home study cost by an organization that seems too good to be true, it probably is.

One caveat to this: in some cases, it is possible to receive a low-cost or free home study from a public agency when completing a foster care adoption. This is obviously good news for anyone who is pursuing foster care adoption, but you should never let the home study cost alone determine the type of adoption you pursue. If you are already thinking that foster care adoption is the right path, then that’s great. But, don’t make the call just because there may be a free home study involved.

How Can I Get the Most from My Adoption Home Study Costs?

Every home study provider is different. Not only will home study costs vary, but so will the quality of services provided. As you search for potential home study providers, it's important to know what to look for and ask detailed questions about each professional's fee structure and services. 

In order to get the most out of your adoption home study costs, you should look for things like:

  • Emphasis on Timely Service: We have found that completing the home study as quickly as possible is a high priority for many families, but not all home study providers place an emphasis on speed. Ask how quickly the organization processes the home study and how long it will take to schedule the in-home visit.

  • Licensed by the State: There are many organizations that claim to offer home study services but are not fully licensed by the state. In these cases, you may not know there is an issue until the finalization hearing when the home study is called into question. The safest route is always to work with a fully-licensed agency.

  • Experience and Expertise: How many home studies does the agency process each year? How are the social workers certified? The more expertise the home study provider has, the smoother the process will be for the family.

Learn More about Adoption Home Study Costs

The best way to find out exactly what your adoption home study costs will be is to contact an adoption professional. You can request more free adoption information online as you continue to research the adoption process and home study costs.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Do we need to retain our own attorney?

No, American Adoptions has established relationships with some of the best adoption attorneys in the nation. Because adoption laws vary from state to state and between counties, it is important to utilize the services of an adoption attorney who specializes in the state where the adoption will finalize, which is unknown until you match with an expectant mother. You have the right to retain your own attorney, but doing so may be an additional, unnecessary expense.

Can we choose the gender of our baby?

American Adoptions does not allow gender specificity in adoption. Any family who wishes to be gender-specific in their adoption should contact us at 1-800-ADOPTION and ask about the possibility of an exception waiver before taking any other steps toward adoption with our agency. Any families who do receive an exception to be gender-specific may also incur an additional fee, which helps cover the additional advertising costs of such a request.

Please note that gender specificity will likely increase your wait time significantly.

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