North Carolina requires that all adoptive families have a home study prepared
for them by a licensed child placing agency or the Department of Social Services.
Home studies completed within 90 days. For a fee, you can request to have an expedited study completed within 30 days.
The home study serves two purposes – evaluation, to show adoption and government agencies that you meet their requirements to adopt a child and education, to assist families as they prepare to parent an adopted child. While being diligent in the area of evaluation, CAS’ emphasis is on education and preparing families to parent. Our workers help families as they explore their hopes, questions, and concerns about adoption, rather than seeking “right” or “wrong” answers. Finally, the home study considers your stated preferences and concludes with a recommendation of the child or children appropriate for you.
We hope that you will face the home study experience with the confidence and excitement that should accompany the prospect of inviting a child into your family. Please remember that we are not looking for perfect parents. Rather, we are looking for a good match between a child’s needs and a family’s ability to meet those needs.
During the course of your home study you will be interviewed as a couple and individually. These interviews will help you to develop a relationship with your social worker and enable him or her to better understand your family and to assist you with an appropriate placement. Some of the topics discussed will include your own childhood and upbringing, your approach to parenting, your spiritual background, how you handle stress and how you have handled challenges in your life. It is important that you are honest with your social worker and yourself about your own strengths and limitations.
A home visit will occur to ensure that your home offers a safe environment for a child and meets the State licensing standards. You home should be free of hazards and offer a child-friendly environment. Generally the social worker is not there to inspect your housekeeping standards. A certain level of order is necessary, but some family clutter is normal. A comfortable, child friendly environment is what is being sought.
Although the adoption home study process may seem invasive or lengthy, it is conducted to help you decide whether adoption is right for your family, to prepare your family for adoption and to help your family determine the type of child which you could best parent. This process helps to ensure that children are matched with families who can meet their needs in loving, caring, healthy and safe environments so that there is a good match between the child’s needs and the family’s capacity.
Read more about the home study process on childwelfare.gov