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What to Expect During An Adoption Home Visit
Written by Renee Hettich
on August 07, 2015

SS8-3  You have taken the first step on the road to adoption - a home study investigation.  You have chosen an adoption agency and have begun or completed the paperwork for your home study.  Now you have scheduled your home study visit with the social worker.  The thought of this visit can bring some prospective adoptive parents anxiety but understanding what is expected of you will help you prepare for this important step in your adoption journey.


The purpose of the home study visit:


  • To be sure the prospective adoptive family and their home comply with the State and local laws regarding the safety, care and placement of children.
  • Help families explore their adoption options and provide them with the information they need to make the best decisions regarding adoption and their family.
  • Meet the family in their environment and learn more about the family as a unit so that they can help ensure a good match between children and families.


What the social worker may ask about during the home study visit:


  • Your childhood, significant life experiences, marriage, immediate family and close relationships
  • Why you want to adopt, infertility, and health history
  • What plans you have after the child comes home
  • Your parenting skills and/or experience with children
  • Education and work history
  • What kind of child you want to adopt, age, race, gender
  • How your extended family and friends feel about your adoption plans
  • How you and your spouse deal with conflicts and make decisions
  • What your community is like, are there parks, schools and medical care nearby
  • Your religion, hobbies and interests


The social worker will also tour your home to ensure that there is adequate space for a child and that the home is safe and free of potential hazards.  Your home must have smoke/fire detectors on each floor of the home and a carbon monoxide detector in the house.  Any firearms must be properly stored in a gun safe with the bullets in a separate locked safe. Pools must be protected behind a locked fence.  Potentially dangerous household products (e.g. medicine, cleaning supplies) must be stored safely out of reach of children.  Stairs need to be gated.  Your social worker is not there to judge your housekeeping skills - no white glove test.  


There are many areas the social worker will explore with you during the home study visit. Being honest, candid and forthcoming will only help to ensure that your adoption proceeds to the benefit of you and the child.  Anxiety over the social worker coming to your home is understandable but keeping the home study visit in perspective will help you through the home study process.  Remember by the time you have the home study visit the social worker already knows a lot about you through your paperwork.  The visit just collects the information to document the approval of your home study. 


Family Connections, Inc. performs both domestic and international home studies throughout New York State and provides free consultations to help educate families about the adoption options available to them.  The agency provides home study services in Cortland, Syracuse, Binghamton, Elmira, Corning, Rochester, Watertown, Albany, Ithaca, New York City, and all towns in between.  We would be honored to conduct your family's home study investigation.  Please call us at 607-756-6574 or e-mail Renee at renee@adoptfamilyconnections.org to request home study services.


Download The Adoption Home Study Guide

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