Common Misconceptions about Home Studies

There’s often a mindset of “passing” or “failing” a home study. However, the purpose of a home study is to assess where your family is at in the adoption process — mentally, physically, financially, emotionally. We’re making sure you’re ready to provide a child with a loving, stable, safe and healthy home.

But there are plenty of misconceptions about home studies. Here are seven that we frequently hear:

1. A criminal record will automatically prevent me from adopting.

Although it depends on the nature and severity of the offense, you’ll likely still be able to adopt. We’ll ask for additional details regarding the offense, and go from there.

It’s best to be upfront about a criminal record, as all adoptive families undergo rigorous background checks and we’d find out anyway!

2. Forgetting small details or not being specific enough in the application will disqualify me from adopting.

No, but we might ask you to elaborate on something if we need more information. If we’ve asked you to submit something that’s missing, we’ll give you a deadline to do so. If you miss that deadline, then you would risk potentially going “inactive.”

But nobody is going to keep you from adopting if you accidentally leave something blank and fix it later!

3. A medical condition will disqualify me from adopting.

Home studies do evaluate the mental, physical and emotional health of the family and request documentation to aid us in this, because prospective birth families want to make sure you’d be capable of providing for the needs of their child. Medical conditions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis, but as long as your physician(s) can confirm that your condition is managed and wouldn’t affect your ability to parent a child, you’ll likely still be able to adopt.

You don’t need to be in perfect health, but you do need to be able to care for a growing child.

4. My home must be spotless and perfect for the “inspection.”

Nobody’s house is perfect! Here’s what your home study professional will actually hope to see when they visit: An excited couple with positive attitudes about adoption, who can show that their home will be a safe, stable, loving and healthy environment for a child.

A certain level of cleanliness is expected, but we’re not there to check your dusting.

5. My home must be fully baby-proofed and have a ready nursery before the “inspection.”

You don’t need to have everything ready to go right now. We would, however, like to see that you’ve started thinking through and implementing some basic child home safety features, and are preparing for your new family member with things like working smoke detectors, a carbon monoxide detector, anchored furniture, cleaners and medicines secured, etc. If you miss something, you won’t “fail!” We’ll just remind you to take care of it before your child arrives, and potentially follow up with you at another scheduled visit.

6. I don’t need a home study.

If you plan on completing an adoption, you probably need a home study. However, different types of adoptions will require different types of home studies. That’s because the child being adopted will have different needs and goals, so the assessment will be tailored around that.

Some, like international home studies, will be more involved. Others, like stepparent home studies, will be simple.

Home studies are there to protect children and ensure they’re placed into safe and loving homes. It may feel tedious to complete, but it’s an important step.

7. It won’t take me too long.

People commonly underestimate how long it can take to gather and submit the necessary documentation for the home study. The longer you put it off, the longer you delay your adoption. We always advise that you get a head start on the paperwork and try to take care of it quickly.

We pride ourselves on completing home studies in a timely manner. If you stay on top of deadlines, you can easily complete the home study in less than a month and move forward with your adoption process.

If you have any more questions or uncertainties about the Texas home study, contact us now at 1 (800) 659-7541. Or, if you’re ready to begin the process, submit your home study application online.