My husband and I have been researching adoption and we know that domestic infant adoption is the route we want to take. Now we're trying to figure out a timeline for when to proceed!
So my question is: For those of you who have completed the home study part of the process, how long did it take from beginning to approval?
Thanks for your help!
I think it depends on a lot of things. Things like, how many homestudies they are working on, how long it takes your references to get back with them, how fast you are able to do all of your paperwork, doc appts, etc.
My first homestudy I think was officially complete after we had already been matched and were awaiting the birth of our son. I think it officially took 6 months...but we had the unofficial approveal in about 3 or 4 months.
Our 2nd one didn't take quite as long. Maybe 2 months?
Ani is right, it depends. If you're efficient about getting things moving, it can go pretty fast. Our first one was about 4 months, our second was only about 6 weeks (but it was just an update)
Most states require some paperwork (e.g. fingerprints,criminal background checks, child abuse network checks) that take a while to get back, and the homestudy can't be completed w/out them. It's best to get those sent out right away so they can be "cooking" while you work on the other stuff---doctor's appts. to get a clean bill of health, your self study (if you have to do one) , your financial declaration, etc. I think the first time around, they wouldn't schedule the actual visit until we had our gov't documents back, since those are kind of threshhold issues.
Our agency was great about trying to speed up the process both times, because there were possible placements that we needed to be ready for.
We began our home study in August '07 and it was completed and sent to our facilitator in September '07. I remember being so afraid that we wouldn't "pass" our home study. My house was probably cleaner than it will ever be again. The Social Worker we had for our home study was wonderful and made us feel very comfortable. We still communicate by email every month for updates.
Congratulations on your decision to adopt.
I agree with everyone else, a lot of it depends on how backed up the social worker is, how involved your homestudy needs to be (i.e. a number of adults living in the home means more background checks and interviews). It also depends hugely on your state and what it requires.
Ours took exactly a month from start to finish.
This is a question I was wondering as well, since my husband and I have just began talking about adoption. Once a homestudy is complete how long is that homestudy good for?
Homestudies are typically good for one year. After one year, if you need a home study update, they are typically less expensive and will be attached to the original home study. It's important to shop around when choosing a home study provider. It depends on how quickly documents are returned, such as references, physicals, background clearances, fingerprint cards, etc. A good provider will be easily accessible, keep you posted about the progress, and be able to answer your questions.
We just had our home study visit last week and it was so much easier and more relaxed than I imagined....our social worker was really nice and had gone through the process herself, so she understood how we were feeling. She told us that it would take about 2 weeks if we got all of the paperwork in to her within that time. My doc appt is not for another 2 weeks and that's the hold up. I gathered many of the documents about 2 months ago (birth certificates, marriage license, criminal and child abuse clearances, etc.), so that really helped.
I don't know what the normal time is for a homestudy but I do know they can be rushed if need be. We met our daughter's bmother out of the blue in Feb and had not planned to adopt so we had nothing prepared. Our daughter was due in June and I kept asking my attorney, when do we start the homestudy and she kept saying that she would get it started in plenty of time. We finally started the end of March and our daughter was born the end of May. We brought her home from the hospital and the only part of the homestudy we had left was when they come to see that everyone is settled in after the baby is home.
But really, it would have been more like 3-4 months if I had not been so proactive. I ran around like a crazy person getting documents, overnighting things, ect... We live in Ohio and our agency required like 12 hours of adoption education classes. We completed that in 2 weekends (the agency would have rather us to it over a month). But my husband is in the Air Force so we knew he could get deployed at any moment, so that helped move our agency along. Also, our homestudy agency was a smaller agency. I think if speed is a factor, you may be better going with a larger agency. In our case, things happened almost TOO quickly for us! We were matched 4 weeks after approval, and our daughter was born the next day after match. It is amazing, wonderful, terrifying and miraculous how quickly things can happen. So much for my "planning"!
Goodluck to you!
Our homestudy was 2 seperate visits with our social worker. The first meeting was at the agency and the 2nd at our home. The first meetiong covered things about our childhoods, our feelings towards our families and one another. The second meeting covered our ideas about parenting and adoption. Our social worker told us at our seconda meeting that we were approved. So ours took probably a few weeks in total.
Good luck!
hi, we had our home study done by our social worker in approx 3 hours at our house. it was a pleasant experience despite everything i had read. After her visit, she said she would need two weeks to write it up and get it to our attorney, but she took a little longer and eventually our attorney had to prompt her to get it done so that we could proceed with everything else. that was the only thing outstanding. i think it took about five weeks in all, but that was due to the social worker. so....make sure when you speak to your social worker, she has a reasonable time frame for you and is not backed up with other obligations. i have other friends who've gotten every ounce of paper work done in one month, proceeded with their search and brought home their baby in a total of three months. we had our home study in January and adopted our daughter in July! hope this helps and good luck!
Ours took a little less 3 months from the first visit to having the completed homestudy in hand. We had 2 visits, all of our references responded quickly and all of our fingerprints/background checks came back quickly. What took longer was the agency taking their time to go over it and approve it. They took exactly as long as they told me they would.
Our homestudy, from start to finish, took about 6 months. Between all of the paperwork, medical exams, background checks and then meetings. Our agency required attendance at 2 group meetings, 1 meeting with the social worker as a couple, each of us meeting with her individually and then the home visit.
And don't go crazy about the home visit. They are not using the white gloves for that. It's more important for them to know the child would be in a safe home, neighborhood, and have their own room. The home visit took 2 hours and we were told right then that we were approved.