by ABC Adoptions.com

A home study is a process conducted by the social services department of a state, county or region, or by a designated entity to determine the suitability of a prospective adoptive couple to parenting.  A completed home study is required in all states prior to the finalization of an adoption.  Most states require a home study prior to receiving a child, but for example, in a California independent adoption, the home study is required to begin after the baby comes into your home.  A pre-adoption visit is made to qualify the adoptive parents.

There are no set formats for the home study and can include several interviews, be educational and will have conversations about families, siblings, marriage, and one's attitudes toward raising children.  The home study will include issues regarding health and safety as they relate to your dwelling and neighborhood.

Information to prepare for would be:

    Birth certificates for all family members.
    Marriage certificate.                                   
    Divorce decree (if applicable).                      
    Death certificates (if former spouse died).
    Military discharge (if applicable).               
    Photographs as a couple or family and your home.
    Income verification with w-2 or Income tax statement.  
    Physical examinations with health statement.                  
    Personal references from friends.                                
    FBI, police and child abuse clearances with no record.     
    A written autobiographical life history of both parents.

Always take time out of your schedule for meetings to flow smoothly. The best advice is to relax, keep a sense of humor and be yourselves.