Home Study Services for Florida Families
About Home Studies
If you live in the United States and are going to adopt a baby, you will need an adoption home study. The purpose of the home study is to make sure you can provide a child with a safe, secure and loving home environment. A completed home study is required before a child can be placed in your custody as adoptive parents.
If you have any questions or want to begin the process, please fill out the form on the bottom of this page.
Lifetime Adoption, Inc. is licensed by the State of Florida to complete home studies for the purpose of adoption within all counties of the state. It is the first step and the most vital component of the adoption process. We are a full service agency meaning we are a licensed child placing agency so our services range from helping birth mothers with their adoption plans and helping you find your child to completing your home study and post placement services.
Your home study is actually a legal document that confirms your ability to parent and adopt a child. It is completed by a licensed social worker. Every home study must address certain components which include background checks, medical reports, employment verification, references, financial verification and a visit of the home. It also includes background information, such as your family and marital relationships, motivation to adopt, parenting style, growing up, education, and more. It can feel very personal, and it should – after all, the writer is responsible for recommending adoption to a court of law and placing a child in your home for adoption.
There is also an education component to the home study. In Florida it is recommended that you complete 21 hours of training on subjects that include parenting skills, first aid skills, safety, the legal issues with adoption and other subjects that pertain to adopting children. It is good to choose subjects that correspond to your adoption preferences. For example, if you are open to adopting a child that was drug exposed during pregnancy or your racial preferences include options for an inter-racial adoption, you might choose subjects that address those scenarios. Lifetime provides you with one-on-one training as well as a membership website with exclusive webinars that are designed to educate you on all aspects of the adoption process. Lifetime’s adoption webinars are approved by the Florida Department of Children and Families as part of Lifetime’s home study curriculum for adoptive parents. Your social worker can also provide you with course recommendations once they get to know you and your adoption preferences and interests.
Your home visit is something that most families worry about, but it is not meant to be something to fear. It is always scheduled in advance and actually focuses more on the other parts of the home study than your actual home. Of course you want your home to be presentable, but we want you to be real. You don’t need to panic over perfection. We want to see how you actually live and ensure that it is a safe environment with ample space to grow your family. During that visit you will be interviewed, as will anyone else living there. Your social worker will also provide education about the entire adoption process. It is also a great opportunity for you to ask questions and get to know your home study provider. While your social worker is there to assess and evaluate, they are also there to provide guidance and support throughout the adoption process. Our goal is to seamlessly make the process both educational and enjoyable.
A Florida home study for adoption will need to be updated annually until you’re placed with a child, or whenever you experience a shift in your life like a move or a new job. It is important to remember to stay in communication with your social worker throughout your adoption journey.
Once a home study is completed it is valid with any agency or attorney throughout the State of Florida as well as any agency or attorney across the United States.
After a child is placed with you, your Florida home study social worker will return within one week for the first post-placement visit. The visits continue monthly until your adoption finalization. Post-placement visits are done to check in on the child’s health and development and to make sure that everyone is adjusting well. Your social worker can answer any questions and provide you with resources or support should you need it. A written report with your social workers recommendation of adoption is then provided to the adoption attorney to include when submitting the adoption petition paperwork to a judge for review, and ultimately the finalization of your adoption!
Our Florida Home Study Services include:
- Private Adoption Home Studies
- Relative Home Studies
- Non-Relative Home Studies
- Intervention Home Studies
- Out of State Transfer Home Study Updates
- Immediate/Emergency Home Studies
- Post Adoption Service Reports
- Home Study Updates