What is a Home Study or Family Study?

A home study or family study is a process of both educating the adoptive family about adoption and evaluating the adoptive family to ensure that they will provide the safe, nurturing and appropriate home for a child. This study is usually done by an adoption agency or licensed social worker, depending on the requirements of the court.

It will include the adoptive parents obtaining criminal, FBI and child abuse clearances. It also will include the home study caseworker following up on medical and personal references of the adoptive family. Evaluations of the financial, physical and mental health of the adoptive family will also be a part of this study.

The family will receive education on adoption options to determine what type of adoptive placement would be appropriate for that family. This process usually involves the home study caseworker visiting the adoptive family’s home, and meeting the other members of the household as well as inspecting the home for safety and appropriateness.

Once the study is complete and the adoptive family is approved, a report will be prepared, referred to as the home study, or family study, or family profile. This home study will then be available to the agency that the adoptive family is working with, to the courts, and to any other necessary agency in the adoption process.

The cost will vary, but an estimate is $1,500-$2,500. This could be significantly lower if the home study is done through a county child protective services agency.

If you are involved in a SWAN adoption, the cost may be subsidized so that it is at no cost to the adoptive family.

To obtain your FBI, Criminal and Child Abuse Clearances in Pennsylvania, go to the following link:

http://www.dhs.state.pa.us/findaform/childabusehistoryclearanceforms/index.htm