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Preparing for a Successful Home Study

How to 'Pass' a Home Study for Adoption

Any hopeful adoptive family can complete the home study with minimal stress. It just takes the right preparation, guidance, and adoption home study tips. 

As you’re reading, you may have more questions about how to prepare for a home study. We’re committed to your adoption journey, which is why you can select your state below at any time to speak with us. We're happy to answer your specific questions

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Preparing for the Home Study

If you’re researching how to prepare for a home study, you’re already ahead. Preparation before the home study starts can make a big difference when it comes to how smooth the process goes and how quickly the home study is completed. Also, the process will seem less stressful if you have a good grasp on what’s happening and what is expected of you.

How to Pass a Home Study for Adoption

So, what are the best things you can do when preparing for the home study? There are several practical steps you can take to get a head start.

Step 1: Start Gathering Documents and Records

One of the first things a social worker will do in the home study is review several documents. Some of these are standard documents that need to be on file — things like a driver’s license, birth certificate, and social security card for each adoptive family member. Others will be things that most families do not keep on file. If you can find copies of tax records, medical records, any relevant immigration papers and proof of income, it will make the process go faster. Get a head start by reviewing our home study checklist for some of the most common documentation you may need.

Step 2: Prep Your Home

This is one of the most important ways of preparing for the home study. Your home study social worker will conduct an in-home visit where they make sure your home is safe for a child. You can help this in-home visit be smooth and successful by preparing your home ahead of time. Make sure all locks work properly on windows and doors, smoke detectors are functioning, stairs have safe rails and gates, electrical outlets are covered, the home is clean, and you have emergency plans prepared in case of disasters. Your home doesn’t have to be perfect — this isn’t a “white-glove test” — but you should make sure it meets some basic requirements

Step 3: Think about the Interview

Following the home review, family members will also be interviewed. This is a chance for your social worker to get to know you and to evaluate your adoption readiness. One of the most important adoption home study tips we can give is to think about the interview questions you will likely hear beforehand. Thoughtful answers go a long way.

Step 4: Work with an Adoption Specialist

This may be the most important part of how to pass a home study for adoption. We'll guide you through the entire adoption process, including the home study. Whereas other agencies may encumber you with avoidable delays, paperwork or frequent mistakes, American Adoptions is a licensed, professional agency. We ensure that your home study process with us will be as smooth and straightforward as possible.

More Adoption Home Study Tips

Along with these very practical adoption home study tips, there are some other helpful things to keep in mind. These tips don’t fit on a “to-do” list, but they can be helpful reminders.

  • Clearly Communicate: Be open and honest throughout this whole process with your adoption specialist and your home study social worker. The clearer the lines of communication are, the better the process will be. Even when you feel total honesty may not benefit you, it’s important to never hide details or blur the truth.

  • Remain Flexible: Remember to stay flexible as things change. This will make it easier for your home study social worker and potentially help speed up the home study process.

  • Stay Positive: The home study exists to protect children. Everyone involved wants the best outcome, and you’re all on the same team.  

Hopefully, these adoption home study tips will help you get started in preparing for the home study. If you’d like to learn more about the home study or how to prepare, then you can get more free information online at any time. We would be happy to help you start the home study process. Otherwise, you can begin by searching for a home study professional whenever you're ready.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. American Adoptions 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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