You’ve made the important decision to build your family through adoption. So, what happens now? Who can prepare my home study? What type of adoption is right for me? How do I choose a child-placing agency?

Hopefully, this information will help to guide you along the path towards finding your child!

About The Home Study

Starting Adoption: The Home Study

Your first step in pursuing adoption is the home study. You will need an approved home study (also called a preplacement assessment) for any type of adoption you choose, whether it is domestic or international.

Collaborative Reporting: Meeting Requirements

We will work with your child-placing agency to create a report that will satisfy all state, federal (USCIS), Hague, and intercountry requirements. In addition, we have extensive experience in helping both traditional and non-traditional families adopt.

Home Study: A Family Assessment

A home study is not a close inspection of your home. Rather, it is a report about your family which (hopefully) concludes in a recommendation of you as prospective adoptive parents.

Bringing Familes Together

We’ve completed our home study and it was 10/10 from start to finish. First of all, Parissa walks you through everything and she’s so easy to talk to, she made the process and the paperwork go from a potential nightmare to an absolute breeze. Kim Miller is a social worker extraordinaire, she’s so warm and friendly and again…walks you through the whole process before anything, so you know what to expect every time, start to finish, and even after placement. Highly recommend Nathanson, and especially Kim, for anyone needing a home study. We never felt nervous or on trial or lost in the shuffle.
Nathanson far exceeded our expectations and was a true partner in our adoption journey. Parisa was always available to answer questions and provide information on the process. Jenna was a delight to work with, providing us sound advice and offering us flexibility when scheduling visits. We didn't know what to expect in the home study process but Nathanson communicated clearly, was responsive to our concerns, were always warm and friendly, and made the process easy right from the beginning. I would highly recommend Nathanson!
We have worked with Nathanson twice, and both experiences have been great. They are very professional, personable and kind. Our social worker made the home study experience very comfortable. They gave us good parenting advice and shared knowledge from their own experiences as parents.
From the start Nathanson Adoption Services have been great in our adoption process. They’re always available for answers to our questions and helpful along the way. They came highly recommended to us from friends who’ve adopted and we’ve had a great experience so far. Thank you Nathanson!
My husband and I loved working with Nathanson! Jenna was our contact and she was super personable, easy to work with and very responsive to the many questions we had. Our home study was approved last month and each step of the process was done in a professional manner. We would highly recommend this company to individuals seeking out a group for adoption services.
Nathanson has been a amazing partner in our adoption process. Our case worker, Kim, was always a delight and passionate about her tasks. Nathanson made the home study process easy to understand and prompt with their responses. I highly recommend Nathanson!
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Most frequent questions and answers

A home study is a report prepared by a social worker, which is based on a series of meetings that take place between the social worker and the prospective adoptive parents. There will be approximately three meetings with the social worker, at least one of these will be in your home. It also includes a review of required documents, and interviews with all members of your household.

Before the State of North Carolina or USCIS can approve an adoption, they want assurances that the prospective adoptive couple will be good parents who will appropriately care for their child. The State of North Carolina licenses certain agencies, and authorizes their social workers to conduct investigations about the couple. The State then recognizes the report prepared by these agencies regarding the suitability of the prospective parents.

Most child-placing agencies will not work with you until you have an approved home study.

A home study enables the social worker to provide a description of you as potential parents. The home study process helps to prepare you for adoption and gives you an opportunity to raise any issues or questions you may have about adoption or parenting.

During the home study interviews, the social worker will gather information including:

  • A general description of you and your family including names, dates of birth, occupations, as well as background information about you and your family.
  • If you are married, a description of your marriage.
  • You will also discuss your parenting philosophy, feelings about children and adoption, interests and activities, home and community, religious beliefs, plans for discipline, financial resources, medical history, criminal records, and the type and age of child you wish to adopt.
  • The social worker will provide you with information and education on adoption topics such as openness in adoption, positive adoption language, etc.
  • The social worker will also review and collect the documents you have gathered for the home study (see the following question for more information).

Yes. As part of the homestudy process, you will gather several documents such as birth certificates and medical and financial forms. These documents are gathered as part of the homestudy, so there is no need to worry about them until we have formally begun the homestudy process. Details about the documents to gather will be provided to you in the “Welcome Packet” you receive after we review and accept your application. Please hold off on asking specific questions about the documents until you receive your “Welcome Packet”.

Many prospective adoptive parents are concerned that the home study will be an intrusive and overly-critical assessment of their family. We at Nathanson Adoption Services utilize a strengths-based approach in evaluating prospective adoptive parents. Our families appreciate that their home studies reflect the positive qualities that they bring to their parenting plan.

We understand that everyone is different and many of us have experiences in our past that may be of concern. We urge you to contact us about these issues and simply ask whether any past or current situations might make you unapprovable for adoption

Our experience has been that, in most cases, we are able to assure clients that they can still be approved for adoption despite their past personal or family history. We want to be sure that you will be able to provide a stable, safe and loving home for a child. Prospective parents are evaluated on who they are today – not on past mistakes. Our agency has approved thousands of prospective adoptive parents for adoption, many of whom have less than perfect histories.

There are many myths about home visits. We do not “drop by unannounced” or look for dust in your closets. We do not question neighbors or expect the child’s room to be set up. In reality, it is a brief walk through your home to see where the child will live, look at your neighborhood and its facilities and conduct the interview. Clients’ typical reaction after the home visit is, “that’s all?” Homes do not have to be immaculate – just comfortable and appropriate for a child.

A home study is valid for 18 months in North Carolina.

In most cases you would simply require a home study update.  An update is a fraction of the cost of the original home study and typically requires just one meeting in the home with all family members.

Post placement supervision is a brief meeting with the parents and adopted child, in order to ascertain that the child is being well cared for, and the family is adjusting comfortably to the new addition. A separate report is written after each post placement visit.

Requirements for post-placement supervision vary by state and by country. Your placing agency will inform you of the number of post-placement visits necessary for your adoption. Based on our experience in the field of adoption, we can offer suggestions to help all members of the family. We may also make referrals to local resources for additional assistance if that is indicated.

Our social workers love post-placement visits- we are thrilled to finally meet your children!

You can download and print out our Application Packet or, simply contact us and we’ll send an Application Packet out to you in the mail.

During the course of completing your home study, we are happy to make recommendations of highly reputable child placing agencies.  Our knowledgeable staff will evaluate your adoption plans and provide you with suggestions of child-placing agencies based on your desires. 

It is important to our agency that our clients understand that we have no mutually exclusive agreements with any child-placing agency and that our extensive list of recommended child-placing agencies is solely based on feedback from our adoptive families.