What you can expect from an adoption home study evaluation

If you are preparing to adopt a child in the state of Illinois, the first order of business will be to undergo the home study evaluation. After its completion, you will legally become temporary custodians of the child until the court enters the final judgment of adoption.

A social worker conducts the home study evaluation. Once you familiarize yourself with the main home study elements, you may feel more comfortable with the process.

Necessary paperwork

You and your spouse or partner may be unrelated to the child you wish to adopt, and you are probably curious about the home study process. It begins with paperwork you must complete and submit to your social worker. The required documents include your birth and marriage certificates, financial documents, tax records and more. You must also complete and submit background checks.

Interviews for all

The social worker will interview you and every member of your household, even children who are old enough to understand adoption. As part of the process, the social worker will ask about your personal history, education, family background and views about parenting.

Entering adoption education

Adoptive parents must complete training, which includes a variety of topics, such as open versus closed adoption and how to work with the birth family. You will receive a certificate of completion, a copy of which will go to the home study agency.

The home visit

One of the most important aspects of the evaluation process is the home visit. Your social worker will request a tour of your home and make an assessment as to its suitability with respect to the adoption. The visit will be thorough; for example, if you have pets, the social worker may ask you to provide records from your veterinarian.

Final report

The assessment your social worker makes during the home visit becomes part of your home study report, along with the paperwork you provide. This is important information for the adoption placing agency to have. The home study evaluation takes time, and it is intense and comprehensive, but keep in mind that it also represents the beginning of the process that will bring a child into your family.

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