All U.S. states require prosective parents undergo home study. This process evaluates desire and commitment to adopt. Home study also explores reasons for adopting and provides education about adopting. The result is an evaluation for prospective parents.
Home study begins after application to adopt a child has been established (whether through an agency, an attorney/facilitator, or directly to the court in an open/independent adoption).
No set format exists for home studies. Each process must follow general regulations of their state, but freedom allows prosective parents to develop their own application packet, policies, and procedures within those regulations. Some adoption agencies require prospective parents to attend one or more group orientation (training) sessions before an application is completed. Other agencies ask social workers to begin home studies by meeting with family members. Sometimes educational meetings are required later in the home study.