About the Home Study
I've decided I want to adopt. Now what do I do?
The first step in most adoptions is a homestudy. Families and individuals must be
approved through a home study process before a child can be placed in their home
for adoption. The home study consists of a series of meetings between the prospective
adoptive family and a case worker. It provides an opportunity for the family to
learn about adoption, and to seriously consider their motivations and expectations
In Louisiana, home studies are conducted by the Home Development Worker or a private
adoption agency. The home study process usually takes anywhere from three to six
months and typically consists of a number of meetings at the agency as well as personal
interviews conducted by a case worker in your home. The study generally includes
- Personal History: A comprehensive history and assessment of your
current family life and past experiences affecting your capacity to parent an adoptive
child is developed. The social worker will be attempting to understand how a child
would fit within your family and determine what type of child might do best in your
home. You will be asked questions about your family of orgin, your educational level,
your feelings about education for your children, your employment status and your
future plans. If you're married there will be questions about your marriage, such
as how you met, how long you've been married, the strengths and weaknesses of your
spouse, how you make decisions, etc. If you are single there will probably be questions
about your social life and how you anticipate integrating a child into it. Other
questions might address your daily routines, your experience with children, your
neighborhood, and your friends. Children living in the home are also interviewed
(depending on their age and level of understanding) regarding their feelings about
an addition to their family and what adoption means to them. Additionally, if there
are other adults in the home (parents, aunts, cousins, friends), they will also
be interviewed extensively.
- Health Statements: Your medical history, a recent physical (within
one year), and a TB test for every member of your household is required.
- Criminal Background Check: You will need to complete a form that
the case worker sends off for a criminal records check.
- Income Statement: You will be asked to verify your income by providing
a copy of an income tax form, a paycheck stub, or a W-2 form. Bank statements and
insurance policies may also be requested. You do not have to be wealthy to adopt.
Even if you receive some type of financial assistance, you are still eligible to
adopt as long as you have adequate resources to provide for your family. Financial
assistance in the form of a support subsidy is available when adopting many of the
children listed on LARE.
- Personal References: You will be asked to provide the names, addresses,
and phone numbers of three or four individuals who can attest to your experience
with children, the stability of your marriage and/or household, and your modivation