Receive a Home Study for Your California Adoption
Regardless of the type of adoption you choose or the adoption professional you work with, the adoption home study is one of the most important steps you will take in the adoption process — and FCCA can provide the services you need to complete yours.
California law requires all prospective adoptive parents to complete an adoption home study before accepting an agency adoption placement, or before finalizing an independent adoption placement. The purpose of the home study is to:
- confirm that the family is able to provide a stable, nurturing home to a child
- help the social worker understand the types of adoption opportunities that would be appropriate for the family
- answer the family’s questions and help prepare them for the adoption process and parenthood
While some families may feel overwhelmed by the home study for adoption, this is an exciting part of the adoption process that gets you one step closer to your adoption goals.
Whether you are adopting through one of our adoption programs or through another child-placing agency, FCCA is licensed and accredited to provide domestic and international home studies for adoptive families throughout California.
Read on to learn more about home study requirements and services in California.
The California Adoption Home Study
Each state has different laws regarding home study processes and requirements. In California, the home study for adoption includes:
- individual interviews with each adoptive parent
- a home visit with all members of the household present
- fingerprint-based background checks
- physical exams for all family members
- paperwork regarding finances, health, employment and more
- important documentation such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and divorce decrees
The California adoption home study will not be approved if any adult living in the home has been convicted of:
- a felony for child abuse or neglect, spousal abuse, a crime against a child, or a crime involving violence, including rape, sexual assault or homicide
- a felony within the past five years for physical assault, battery, or a drug- or alcohol-related offense
While the adoption home study checklist is generally the same for every domestic adoption, some other countries have additional home study requirements for international adoptions. If you are adopting internationally, we will work with you and your child-placing agency to ensure your home study meets that country’s standards.
FCCA offers several adoption preparation classes, which include more detailed information about the adoption process and home study requirements. Your intake interviewer will provide additional information about the adoption home study prior to beginning the process.
What to Expect During the Home Study Interview
Once you have submitted the required adoption paperwork to FCCA, your social worker will schedule individual interviews with you and your partner, if applicable. These interviews take place at the agency office during regular working hours and generally last about 2 hours each.
The individual interview gives your social worker a chance to get to know you better and to ensure that you and your spouse share similar adoption goals and attitudes. During the interview, you might discuss:
- Your family background and childhood
- Your current family dynamics, values and traditions
- Your career, education and interests
- Your lifestyle and hobbies
- Your neighborhood and community
- Your experience with children and parenting style
- Your reasons for adopting
- Your attitudes toward adoption and adopted children
- Your knowledge about adoption issues
- And more
Remember, there are no “right” or “wrong” answers during the home study interview. These interviews simply allow your social worker to get a better understanding of your family and the types of adoption opportunities you seek.
What to Expect During the In-Home Visit
In addition to your individual interviews, your social worker will schedule a time to meet with you and all members of your household in your home. This visit will take place on a weekday during regular working hours.
During this visit, your social worker will conduct a home inspection, ask you some additional questions and speak with other members of your family. Many hopeful parents are nervous about the home visit, but remember that your home does not need to be spotless, and you are not expected to be perfect. While you will need to meet certain safety standards, like having working smoke detectors, the social worker is just there to make sure your house is generally safe and appropriate for a child.
Post-Placement Visits in California
After a child is placed in your home for the purpose of adoption, you will undergo at least six months of post-placement supervision before the final adoption decree is granted.
In California, the post-placement supervision includes at least one in-home visit with the adoptive parents and child, as well as three additional visits with the adoptive parents that may occur outside of the home. During these interviews, your social worker will ensure you and the child are adjusting well to the placement and will offer any additional post-placement services or support you may need.