Home study requirements vary among states. All prospective adoptive parents, whether they are adopting internationally or domestically, must have a home study done. The purpose of the home study is to help the adoption agency, attorneys, court, the state, and foreign countries assess the suitability of the adoptive parents and their home to ensure the child's safety. Because we are a licensed child-placing agency, we are required to follow the Minimum Standards and Guidelines for Child-Placing Agencies in Texas.
What is a Home Study?
For you, the home study is an autobiography of your life. Information gathered during the interview includes the family background of both adoptive parents. The home study follows the Minimum Standards and includes the following assessments:
- Ages of the prospective adoptive parents
- Significant relationships
- History of residence and citizenship
- Motivation for adoption
- Health status and any disabilities
- Quality of the marital relationship
- Sentiments about their childhood, parents, and immediate family
- Religious beliefs and willingness to provide spiritual development, religious affiliation, and health protection due to certain medical procedures
- Values and practices in regard to child's discipline
- Sensitivity and feelings toward birth parents
- Expectations of adopted children and attitudes of extended family
- Ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment
- Financial status of the prospective adoptive parents and the ability to meet basic material needs
- Results of the criminal history and central registry check for child abuse
- Three to four reference letters from professionals and family friends concerning your character/personality traits
The interview is conducted in your home, with all of the household members that reside in your home present. A licensed social worker conducts the interview and will work quickly and efficiently to complete the home study. If you live outside of Texas, you must have your Home Study conducted by a person possessing the credentials and the qualifications required by the State of Texas licensing standards. This person is usually affiliated with a Licensed Child Placing Agency or is an independent licensed social worker. Please contact our Agency before you arrange for a home study so we can advise you of our state requirements. The Home Study must not only meet the requirements of your state, but also Texas requirements. Home studies are considered current for one year. After that time, a written update consisting of a review must be conducted to verify the status of each category covered in the original Home Study.