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 for adopting.

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 the following:

  • 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 to adopt.

Louisiana's waiting children are brought to you by the Louisiana
Adoption Resource Exchange and AdoptUSKids.