image Visit coronavirus.govVisit disclaimer page for the latest Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19) updates.
View ACF COVID-19 Responses and Resources
< Back to Search Results

What is an adoption home study? What type of information is included in it?

Child Welfare


An adoption home study (or family profile) is a written report by a social worker who has met with the applicants on several occasions, both individually and together (if a couple). Completing the home study or family profile involves education, preparation, mutual assessment, and gathering information about the prospective adoptive parents. The assessment process is designed to help families decide if adoption is right for them, as well as to help families understand the type of child whose needs they could meet. This process can take from 2 to 10 months, depending on agency waiting lists and training requirements.

Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, offers summaries of state statutes addressing home study requirements on its website in the publication Home Study Requirements for Prospective Foster Parents. In addition, the Information Gateway publication The Adoption Home Study Process discusses the common elements of the home study process and addresses some questions that prospective adoptive parents may have about the process.

Last Reviewed: July 13, 2020