As a licensed agency, we provide full adoption home study services to Delaware, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Illinois and now New York residents who are looking to adopt either domestically or internationally. You do not have to be an MAA placement client in order to be eligible for our home study services.
What is a home study? The home study report is a legal requirement for every adoption. The home study is performed by a licensed agency detailing your family’s suitability to become adoptive parent(s). The home study process is intended to not only investigate suitability issues, but also to help prospective adoptive parents understand the unique issues that may come up during and after the adoption, and to prepare parents for the unique challenges of raising an adopted child.
A social worker will meet with prospective adoptive parents to conduct and prepare the home study by gathering information about each parent’s background; relationships with spouse/partner, family and friends; education and career history; finances; home and neighborhood; health; attitudes toward discipline and other parenting issues; and the type of adoption that best suits your family. After gathering the required documentation, the social worker will then interview all household members, and assess the family’s suitability to adopt. Each adoptive parent and any other adult household members must obtain criminal and child abuse background clearances.
While this all may sound intimidating, the intent of the adoption home study is to support and prepare the adopting family for the adoption process and placement of a child. The home study is confidential, only to be submitted to the legal adoption authorities. It is not shared with birthparents.
Why is a home study necessary? No matter what type of adoption you are hoping to complete (domestic, international, step-parent, etc) the home study process has three purposes.
- To educate and prepare a prospective adoptive family for adoption. This education and preparation will be tailored to your family’s needs based on the type of adoption you are hoping to complete and type of child you wish to be approved to adopt. The home study will also cover the requirements of your placing agency and placing country.
- To evaluate the suitability of the prospective adoptive family. This is a time for the family and the social worker together to assess the readiness and appropriateness of a family to adopt.
- Finally, through the home study process, information about a family is gathered to determine what type of child would be appropriate for the adoptive family. The home study approval will specify the gender, age, race/ethnic, and potential special need parameters that are identified as appropriate for the family based on their experience, abilities, and resources. The social worker will be looking for a good match between a child’s needs and a family’s ability to meet those needs.
Once the home study is completed and approved, a family can prepare a profile for presentation to birth parents (domestic) or prepare a dossier for presentation to an international adoption entity. MAA has accredited placement programs including Bulgaria, Colombia, Ecuador, Dominican Republic, China, Thailand and the Philippines.
If you are interested in having Madison complete your adoption home study, please see MAA’s Adoption Home Study Steps.