It is our desire at Adopt Florida Home Studies to make your home study smooth and seamless. We understand the home study process can be anxiety inducing. Our goal is to make your experience as stress free as possible and provide you with the support you need as you navigate this part of your adoption journey.
The Home Study is two fold; one, the Home Study is the report created by your Home Study Professional that is a written representation of your qualifications to adopt a child. This report is how most people involved in your adoption process will form their opinion about you and your family, the home you will provide, and what kind of parents you will be.
Your Home Study Professional will write a report that presents you in the best light possible. This is important because most people that read your Home Study will never meet you personally or step foot in your home. The Life History Questionnaire gathers the primary information needed to create this favorable report. The more the Home Study Counselor knows about you, the easier it is to give a complete and accurate picture of you in the Home Study.
Secondly, the home study is the process the Home Study Professional goes through to evaluate the prospective adoptive families qualifications to adopt a child. This process involves the home visit, background screenings, reference checks, paper work, and gathering personal information needed to complete the Home Study Report accurately and completely.
The process and report are all guided by Florida Statutes, State Laws, Agency requirements, and if an international adoption, the requirements of the country you are adopting from (which can vary by province) and INS requirements.
When you are ready to get started, you will find a checklist on our Forms page.
In the State of Florida, if a family wishes to adopt a child either from Florida, another State or Internationally, Florida Statutes requires a Home Study to be completed. A qualified Home Study Provider that is Licensed in the State of Florida must complete the Adoption Home Study.
In the State of Florida, if you are hiring a private attorney or a private adoption agency that does not complete their own adoption home study, you will need to hire an independent, private, home study provider, which is what Adopt Florida Home Studies has done over 600 times in 20 years.
Most prospective families are very anxious about the home visit. The purpose of the home visit is to meet you and get to know you a bit personally, and do a thorough inspection of the home.
Allow me to attempt to anticipate some of your questions about the home visit:
1. The visit may take 2-3 hours (refreshments are not necessary, but appreciated.)
2. I enjoy beginning by just sitting and talking with the family.
3. The purpose of the interview and questions is to assess your personality and interpersonal skills, mental and physical health, marital relationship and parenting skills. This is why mental health professionals are the only qualified home study providers, such as myself, with over 40 years of social work and clinical counseling experience.
4. If there are children living in the home, please have them present for the interview.
5. If you have older children out of the home, please have them complete the Adult Child Questionnaire. I could possibly call them, as well.
6. By the way, I interview the pets too!
7. Nothing is out of bounds during the interview.
8. During the tour of your home, I will look in rooms, closets, cabinets, pantry, refrigerator, garage and inspect the front and back yard. This is not a white glove inspection and I will not pull out the fridge, although nothing is out of bounds.
9. Working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher in the kitchen (and garage is nice) will be expected.
10. If a pool or body of water is adjacent to the home, there must be two forms, and three is better, of egress protection (i.e., door locks out of reach of a child, locks on pool gate, pool alarm, etc.)
11. If there are firearms in the home, they must be locked and ammo stored separately. Self-defense firearms are locked at all times. I recommend a biometric safe for quick access.
The “home study” is not a report, but a process of approval. The adoption cannot be finalized until after the minimum required post placement supervision home visits have been made.
After a child is “legally” placed in your home by your attorney or agency, the Post Placement Supervision period begins. According to Florida Statute 63, there is a minimum of two additional home visits in the 90-day period leading to finalization. If you are adopting a child from another State, there could be more. In addition:
1. As your home study provider, I will make a predetermined time for the home visit, but reserve and have the right to come to your home at any time, day or night, without notice.
2. There is a fee for the visits.
3. During the supervision period I can make additional requirements, whether it be environmental, legal, educational, parenting skills or regarding your physical health, mental health, or marriage.
4. Since you are continuing to qualify for adoption, any changes legally, financially, mentally, physically or if any fact given in the Preliminary Home Study changes you must update this information.
5. All people coming in contact with the child must be of good moral character including family members.
6. Adopt Florida Home Studies can extend the post placement period as long as necessary to assure the placement is in the best interest of the child.