So you have begun the process of adoption. You have filled out your paperwork and had your home visit with the social worker, so what information will be in that home study report? What is an adoption home study investigation report?
A Home Study Investigation Report issued by an authorized adoption agency, is a legal document that is used by the Courts (U.S. and foreign), Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the country from the family is adopting as documentation that the individual or couple has been investigated and approved as prospecitve adoptive parent(s) and are qualified to adopt a child(ren).
In New York State, prospective adoptive parents have the right to review the home study investigation report (if conducted by an authorized agency) prior to its approval and add an addendum to the report if warranted. Home study investigation reports issued by a Licensed Social Worker or individual/organization approved by the court may recommend a family to a court for qualification as an adoptive family but may not approve the family for adoption.
So what is in the report? Typically the report contains:
- Cover Page: Contains identifying information of the family and statement of adoption plan.
- Introduction: Statement of the purpose of the home study investigation.
- Social History Of Each Prospective Adoptive Parent: Exploration of the prospective adoptive parent’s family, education, physical description, hobbies, lifestyle, life experience, and employment.
- Social History Of Adult Household Members: Brief history of all adult household members (if any) in the household.
- Marriage or Life Partner Relationship: The history, strengths, areas of vulnerability, problem solving, and self-evaluation of marriage or life partnership. If single applicant, discussion of past relationships and future plans.
- Role Models For Child: If single or same-sex couple, a discussion of how the prospective adoptive parent(s) will have positive role models for the child of the opposite sex.
- Parenting Beliefs & Experience With Children: Explanation of prospective adoptive parent(s) parenting philosophy and child rearing techniques (including discipline). Detail of the prospective adoptive parent(s) professional and personal experiences caring for and/or educating children. If currently parenting, an evaluation of the prospective adoptive parent(s) parenting skills and a description of each child within the home.
- Motivation To Adopt: Exploration of reasons for choosing adoption as a way to build and/or expand the family, including fertility issues or other appropriate motivations. Discussion of why prospective adoptive parent(s) are choosing a particular country from which to adopt (if international adoption).
- Adoption Plan: Detail the type of child(ren) the prospective adoptive parents wish to adopt, including gender, age, health status, development capacity, ethnicity, and cultural heritage. For domestic adoption, a further discussion regarding openness in adoption.
- Family Leave And Child Care Plan: Explanation of the prospective adoptive parent(s) plan for family leave and care for the child if both parents plan to return to work after family leave.
- Guardianship: Description of chosen guardians for the adopted child(ren).
- Home And Community: Description of home and community, including information regarding the safety of the home.
- Finances: Statement regarding income, assets, and liabilities. Statement regarding life, health, and dental insurances.
- Religion: Statement of religion of each prospective adoptive parent.
- Health: Discussion and summary of medical reports for the prospective adoptive parents(s), any children in the home, and all adult household members. Statements regarding any current or previous use of drugs, tobacco, or alcohol or any current or history of psychiatric treatment.
- Child Abuse & Maltreatment History Reports: Statement as to child abuse reports received for each prospective adoptive parent(s) and adult household members.
- Vulnerable Persons Abuse and Maltreatment History Reports: Statement as to the Vulnerable Persons’ Central Register screening results for each prospective adoptive parent and adult household member.
- Criminal History Reports: Discussion of each prospective adoptive parent(s) and adult household members history of state, national, or international criminal records or the absence of such records. If a person has a criminal record or conviction, a discussion of the reasons why the person is approved for adoption or not approved as an adoptive parent.
- Home Study History: Statement regarding the prospective adoptive parent(s) and adult household members history of previous home study investigations.
- History Of Abuse Or Violence: Discussion of the prospective adoptive parent(s) and adult household members history of being a victim or offender of abuse or violence.
- Understanding Of Foreign Adoption Or Domestic Adoption: Exploration of the prospective adoptive parent(s) understanding of the risks and unknowns in foreign adoption or domestic adoption.
- Adoption Training: Detail training completed by the prospective adoptive parent(s).
- Post Adoption Supervision And Support: Explanation of post-adoptive placement supervision required for domestic or foreign adoption.
- References: Short summary of references; a minimum of 3 references are required.
- Conclusion & Recommendation: Social worker summation and recommendation or denial as adoptive parents.
- Verifications: Home study provider’s statement regarding legality of home study investigation.
- Signatures: Social worker and supervisor signatures and notary.
If you are in need of home study services, Family Connections, Inc., a New York state authorized adoption agency who has acheived Hague Accreditation from the Council on Accreditation would be glad to help. Family Connections, Inc. has over twenty years experience conducting home study investigations and working in both international and domestic adoption. The Agency supports families throughout New York State including Syracuse, Binghamton, Elmira, Rochester, Albany, Utica, Watertown, New York City and all towns in between. If you are exploring your adoption options or in need of home study services contact Anita or Renee at 607-756-6574 or 1-800-535-5556 or you can click on the link below to request a free, no-obligation consultation.
You can also download our Adoption Home Study Guide for more information on the home study investigation process by clicking on the link below.