Homestudy

Cradle of Hope provides home study services to Maryland, Virginia, and DC families for both domestic and international adoptions for families adopting through our placement programs as well as families adopting through other agencies and attorneys. If you need a homestudy, we can help.

What is a homestudy?

A homestudy is a collaborative process designed to teach you about adoption and assess your suitability to become adoptive parents. Through a series of meetings with one of our skilled social workers, you will share information about your childhood, education, employment, health, housing, religion, criminal history if any, attitude about adoption and raising adopted children, finances, etc. You will be required to submit documents as required by state regulation which demonstrate that you are strong candidates for adoption and to take online classes to prepare for adoptive parenting. The process culminates in a written homestudy report, which hopefully recommends you to become adoptive parents. This document is critical for both domestic and international adoption.

Why is a homestudy needed?

A homestudy serves several purposes. First, it’s a training and educational process, so that you are well-informed about what to expect during the adoption process and in raising an adopted child. Next, it’s an opportunity for an experienced social worker to assess your suitability for adoptive parenting. Because there are so many children in the US and around the world who need loving homes, our goal is to approve as many applicants as possible, so long as we are confident that a child would be safely placed and well – loved in the adoptive family. Finally, an approved homestudy serves as our recommendation of you to your placing agency (in a domestic adoption) or foreign adoption authority (in an international adoption).

For how long is a homestudy valid?

In Maryland and DC, a homestudy is good for one year after which it will need to be updated. Virginia homestudies are valid for three years, but many placing agencies or foreign countries require it to be updated annually. Cradle of Hope’s homestudy update fee is $900.

What is the homestudy process?

Your first step to begin a homestudy is to contact our Homestudy Coordinator in our Silver Spring office (ext. 205). She will send you an application form and instructions about collecting the required documents. You will then submit the completed application form with the initial deposit. After we receive all the necessary paperwork and the balance of the homestudy fee a social worker will call to schedule three meetings with you, including one in your home. She will also contact your personal references by phone or in person. After the meetings are completed, the social worker will prepare the written homestudy report, which will we ask you to review for any factual accuracy.

How long does the homestudy take?

Most Cradle of Hope homestudies are completed in three to four months. Sometimes, the timing is more in your hands than ours. Some families work very quickly to submit all of the required documents, while others proceed at a slower pace. We must wait to receive the results of your police clearance, child abuse clearance, reference letters, etc. Our social workers will be ready to begin the process as soon as you have provided all of the paperwork we need.

Is it necessary to choose an adoption program before beginning the homestudy?

If you are planning to adopt domestically, you can begin collecting homestudy documents and meeting with our social worker before you have made a final determination about which adoption program is the right one for your family. Our social worker can help you to sort through all of the various options and  help you select a domestic placing agency (Cradle of Hope or another).

If you are planning to adopt internationally, you must choose the country and the US adoption agency serving as your Primary Provider prior to the inception of the homestudy. Cradle of Hope will enter into an interagency agreement with your placing agency.

How much does a homestudy cost?

Cradle of Hope’s homestudy fee is $1500 for domestic adoption and $1900 for international adoption. We will collect a non-refundable deposit of $500 with  your application and the remaining balance when you’ve submitted all  equired
documents. You will also need to take online adoptive parent education classes ($200). After your child comes home, we will conduct post-placement visits  and prepare reports for your placing agency and will charge $350 per visit.

What if I still have questions about the homestudy?

Call us at 301-587-4400(MD) or 703-352-4806 (VA) or 202-466-0973 (DC). We’ll be happy to answer all of your questions and make sure you are comfortable about beginning your homestudy with Cradle of Hope.

Still Have Questions?

Call or text us!  Cradle of Hope’s adoption counselors are always available to meet with you, in person or by phone, to make sure you are fully informed and comfortable with the adoption process.  We’ll help you make the best possible decision for you and your baby.