Adoption: Home Study Services
The home study is a collaborative, interactive process between the prospective adoptive family and the Board of Child Care, a nonprofit 501(c)3. It is not a study of the home, but rather a series of meetings with a social worker designed to help families prepare for adoption and meet regulations.
A home study’s most important responsibility is ensuring an adoptive home is safe for a child. The home study includes criminal background checks, child protective services clearances and medical reports for everyone living in the home. The family’s financial information is also gathered to determine if the family can responsibly support a child. Download a complete home study documentation checklist.
The purpose of the home study is also to educate families about issues they need to understand as adoptive parents, including
- ways to talk with a child about his/her adoption, what the child can understand about adoption over his/her developmental life cycle, and how to talk to others, such as friends and teachers, about the adoption;
- issues related to transracial and/or transcultural adoptions;
- why children are available for adoption, the environments in which they live and how this could impact their health, growth and development; and
- a child’s possible adjustment challenges once in a family’s home and how to promote positive attachment.
BCC works hard to make the home study helpful and non-threatening. By the time families complete the process, they have a solid, basic understanding of the issues involved in the type of adoption they’ve chosen. BCC also guides families applying for and successfully completing paperwork for United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for international adoptions and for the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) for interstate domestic adoptions.
Time and Fees Involved
The entire home study process generally takes two to three months to complete, depending on how soon families complete paperwork. BCC provides all necessary forms and is readily available to answer questions.
The home study fee covers everything from completion of the actual home study report, to sending official copies of the report to other agencies, ICPC, attorneys, USCIS, etc. A $300 application fee is applied to the balance and due when the home study commences.
To discuss the home study, or any of your adoption questions, contact Adoption Services Director Anne Pearce at (410) 922-2100, ext. 5350, or (800) 227-3734, ext. 5350. If you are ready to get started, download an application.