Carolina Adoption Services is licensed to provide adoption home study (pre-placement assessment) services in the states of North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and New Jersey. Families living in other states who are seeking an adoptive placement through Carolina Adoption Services will need to work with a licensed agency in their state. Carolina Adoption Services frequently partners with several agencies around the country, and we recommend that you contact them concerning home study services if they are licensed in your state. Here are those agencies. Please note that agencies may be added from time to time, so the list is subject to change.
Alternately, choosing a Hague-accredited agency to assist you with your home study will assure that you are working with an agency that is very familiar with the intricacies of both international adoption issues and USCIS (Immigration) regulations. Please note that some countries, such as China, require that the home study agency be either Hague or COA accredited. A list of Hague-accredited agencies nationwide has been made available by the US Department of State and may be viewed by clicking here.
Before you begin working with a home study agency, check with them to be sure there are no reasons they are precluded from submitting home studies to particular countries. For example, Russia has a list of U.S. agencies from which they will not accept home studies. Often this is a temporary situation, but you should be fully informed before applying to an agency for home study services.
Please note that as of April 1, 2008, when the Hague Treaty on International Adoption went into effect in the United Sates, new regulations pertaining to home studies also went into effect. In Hague Convention cases where one agency is doing your home study while another is providing placement services, an inter-agency agreement must be done prior to the completion of the home study. The placing agency will initiate this agreement. If two agencies are involved with your adoption, be sure to give each agency the contact information for the other agency as soon as possible in your adoption process.
Is a Home Study Required?
A home study is required anytime an individual or family plans to adopt a child either internationally or domestically. The home study must meet the requirements of the state in which the family resides and, in international adoption cases, must also meet the requirements of US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the U.S. Department of State. CAS is very knowledgeable about state and federal requirements and is highly experienced in working with those agencies.
What services does CAS provide?
CAS is available to provide services to families working towards an adoptive placement through CAS as well as through other placing agencies and entities. CAS has the expertise to conduct international as well as domestic adoption home studies. Stepparent and relative adoption report services are also available.
Why complete a Home study?
While the home study is partly an evaluative process to determine a family’s appropriateness and readiness for adoption, the home study is also an enriching and educational process. The home study provides opportunities for families to meet with an experienced, professional social worker and to carefully explore the issues of adoptive parenthood. This is also a chance to examine the choices prospective adoptive families must consider relating to such issues as country choice, age of the child, medical issues, etc. CAS will work with each family to explore their strengths, limitations and personal resources to ensure that adoption is in the best interests of both the child and the family.
CAS believes that preparation is critical to a successful adoption and to long-term adoptive parenting. The agency will provide educational services to families in our program. Adoption is a lifelong process and CAS will work to ensure that every family is prepared and supported as they begin the adoption journey.
What is included in the Home Study?
As part of the home study process, prospective adoptive parents will provide documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, health certification and criminal background checks. Personal, family and employment references will also be gathered. Families will be provided with a complete list of all required documentation before beginning the home study process. The home study typically consists of 4-6 interviews with the family, including an individual interview with each applicant. At least one interview must take place in the family’s home. Most home studies are completed in three months. That allows time for the scheduling of family interviews, for the gathering of documents, and for the writing, review, formatting and delivery of the home study to all appropriate parties.