Written by Angela Jackson, Director of Adoption Operations and Quality Assurance

In last week’s blog, we answered some frequently asked questions regarding a home study. This week we will discuss how the home study is used for your adoption

Once your home study has been completed and you are approved for an adoption, what happens next?

Depending on the type of adoption you are pursuing your home study will be used by the placing agency to match the child whose needs you are best prepared to meet.  

If you are pursuing a private, domestic infant adoption, your home study will discuss your family’s level of openness in adoption, the background history of the child/biological family you would be open to adopting and any special needs you are open and prepared for.  This will assist your placing agency in presenting your file to birth mothers who most closely match what has been discussed and approved in your home study.

For an international adoption, the home study is a key element for the central adoption authority for the country you are adopting from to make the best possible match of a child to your family system as well as receiving approval from US Immigration to adopt internationally.  

In all home studies, families explore how their family can meet the needs of a child who has experienced grief, loss, and trauma and how their parenting style and family system is prepared to assist a child as he/she connects with and integrates into his/her new family.  The family throughout the home study process is developing resources and learning how to meet the needs of the child throughout his/her life. Once the home study has been finalized, and a family is matched with a child, the child-specific training will begin with your team.  This is an opportunity to review the family system and develop techniques and approaches that will best support your family system. The child-specific training is an essential component in the adoption journey for your family and should equip you with approaches and resources for your life-long family journey.   

It is important to keep your home study valid until a child has been placed in your family.  Home study updates generally only require one additional social work interview and some updated documents to renew the validity period for your home study for another 18 months (NC), 12 months(SC) or 3 years (VA), unless you are having to update for US immigration purposes.  The update process is an excellent opportunity to connect with additional resources to support the continual development of your child and family system.