Home Study

Haven Adoptions completes adoption home studies for families both within our program and from other agencies. Haven Adoptions has become the #1 choice for many larger, nationwide agencies in completing home studies for their families.

“The team at Haven were so great to work with. The instructions provided were clear and detailed, which made it easy for us to get all of the home study tasks completed.”

Home Study Services

The laws of every state and the District of Columbia require all prospective adoptive families to participate in a home study. This process has three purposes:

  1. Educate and prepare the adoptive family for adoption.
  2. Evaluate the overall well-being of the adoptive family.
  3. Gather information about the prospective adoptive family that will help aid the case manager to connect the family with a child whose needs they can meet.

With accurate information about the process, prospective adoptive parent(s) can face the home study experience with confidence and the excitement that should accompany the prospect of welcoming a child into their family. It may be helpful to remember that Haven Adoptions is not looking for “perfect parents.” Rather, the agency is looking for a good match between a child’s needs and a family’s
ability to meet those needs.

Specific home study requirements and processes vary greatly from agency to agency, as well as state to state. Haven Adoptions’ home study is comprised of the following:

Please Note: The information below is for PRIVATE adoption home studies. If you are interested in foster care home studies, please visit our foster care site.


An interview with the prospective adoptive family to aid in the development of the case manager/client relationship. The prospective adoptive family will explore feelings towards adopting a child of a different race, adopting sibling groups, having an open versus closed adoption with biological parent(s) and other important decisions to be made during the adoption process. This process
should be both a self-reflective process and a time to educate the prospective adoptive family about issues with which they may not yet be familiar.

Home Visit

A home visit by the case manager to ensure that the home offers a safe environment for a child and meets Pennsylvania State licensing standards. The prospective adoptive family’s home should be free from hazards and offer a child-friendly environment for the age range for which they are being approved. The caseworker is not inspecting housekeeping skills, and while some family clutter is expected, a certain level of order is necessary. Haven Adoptions is seeking a child-friendly environment.

Health Statements

Health statements (physical exam within the last year) from a general physician and a statement from him or her confirming that they are physically and mentally able to care for a child. If any member of the prospective adoptive family has a medical condition that is under control, they may still be approved as an adoptive family/parent. A serious health problem, such as a communicable disease or one that effects normal life expectancy, may prevent approval. Every adoption situation is unique, and Haven Adoptions encourages all families to touch base with the caseworker regarding any issues or concerns.

Income Statements

Income statements for proof that the prospective adoptive family can manage finances responsibly. Haven Adoptions asks that adoptive families verify their income by providing copies of pay stubs, W-2 or 1040 forms and/or income tax forms. Haven Adoptions also asks for copies of saving statements, insurance policies including health coverage, investments, and debt. State, federal and child abuse clearances are required yearly for each adult living in the home. All agencies, private and public, must follow the state and federal laws and policies regarding approval requirements and how the findings of background checks affect eligibility for adoptive parents. However, if there is a situation that the prospective adoptive family feels may disqualify them from adopting, this needs to be addressed with the caseworker prior to the home study.

Autobiographical Statements

Autobiographical statements from each prospective adoptive family. The purpose of the autobiography is to help the caseworker understand the family background, childhood experiences, education and work experience, relationships, and employment. it is also to assist him or her in writing the home study report. Haven Adoptions understands that this process might be difficult, but the exercise is intended to provide information to the agency and for the agency to understand what life experiences have shaped who they are today.

Home Study Resources for Adoptive Families

Home Study Checklist

An essential guide that details everything adoptive families need to complete the home study in Pennsylvania.

Preparing for a Home Study

The home study process requires a lot of the adoptive parents and their home. This guide can help you prepare your home, so it is ready and safe for adoption.

Haven Adoptions Blog

The Haven Adoptions Blog is a growing library of resources covering everything involved in the adoption process, including the home study.

Contact Us to receive more information or get your home study started!