Home Study Process

The homestudy process is directed by Adoption regulations set forth by the California State Department of Social Services. It calls for substantial commitment by motivated applicants in a process that may feel cumbersome, even intrusive, to some.

  • The homestudy consists of at least three separate face-to-face contacts with the prospective adoptive family members
  • One interview must occur in the applicant’s home
  • Each applicant will be interviewed individually
  • Each couple will be jointly interviewed
  • Other individuals, including children, will be interviewed individually
  • Additional interviews will be arranged as necessary
Applicants are required to sign an authorization of "Release of Information". This will allow the social worker to contact additional sources to obtain needed information. The homestudy worker will conduct personal interviews with the applicant(s), and review all documents received. The homestudy worker assesses the information and identifies the family’s strengths and challenges.
Information Obtained From Applicant
  • Release of Information
  • The applicant’s social history
  • Statement of commitment
  • Capability to meet the needs of a child to age eighteen, including basic and specific needs
  • Motivation for adoption
  • Parenting ability
  • The ability to help a child accept adoption
  • Financial stability
  • Family relationship to child, if applicable
  • Employment history
  • Family/marriage/divorce history
  • Identifying information regarding all individuals residing in the home
  • Current medical and/or mental health assessment
  • Personal references
  • Criminal background & child abuse/neglect screening(s)
During this homestudy process, the applicant will have the opportunity to ask questions, provide feedback to the homestudy worker and be fully informed of the assessment conclusions. If there is disagreement regarding the homestudy outcome, the applicant has the right to grieve the decision and is informed in writing of the process.
Factors Considered In Assessing The Applicant(s):
  • Personal characteristics and support system
  • Results of criminal history & child abuse index reports
  • Commitment/capability to meet the needs of an adoptive child
  • Understanding of the legal financial rights/responsibilities in adoption
  • Motivation for seeking adoption
  • Adequacy of housing and financial stability
  • Family, parenting and marital relationships
  • Feelings & attitudes regarding infertility, if applicable
  • Cultural competence
  • Plan for the care of child in the case of death/incapacity of the adoptive parent(s)
  • Ability to work with DHHS in support of a case plan for a dependent child
  • Willingness to develop/implement contact with birth relatives.
What Might Delay Or Result In Non-Approval Of An Adoption Homestudy?
  • Criminal and/or child abuse/neglect history of the applicant(s)
  • Mental health issues that may impair parenting a special needs child
  • Foster Care licensing complaints or probationary Foster Care License

Major family stressor such as:

  • The death or serious illness of a close family member within the last two years
  • Unresolved infertility issues
  • Unresolved marital conflict/recent divorce
  • Inadequate/unsafe housing
  • Inadequate finances/debt burden/outstanding financial judgments
  • Previous inadequate parenting experience
The above list is not exhaustive. However, the list gives a general idea of case specific issues that would cause concern in an adoption homestudy. Applicant(s) could be asked to seek services and/or counseling to address identified concerns prior to completion of homestudy.
What Is The Cost Of A Homestudy?
There is a $20 filing fee for adoption and the birth certificate. 
Is An Adoption Homestudy Confidential?
Adoption proceedings are closed hearings, separate and distinct from dependency proceedings. Both the adoption homestudy and the adoption file are confidential.

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