Regardless of the type of adoption you choose to pursue, you’ll require a home study. But this pre-adoptive step is there for an important reason: To ensure that children are placed into safe, loving and prepared families. 

In order to complete a home study for adoption in Texas, you’ll need to work with a licensed home study provider. This professional will review the documents you must submit, and then they’ll complete in-home visits and family interviews. All of this is designed to assess how ready your family is to raise an adopted child.

Home studies for adoption in Texas generally cost between $700 to $1,300, depending on the type of adoption and the services you require in your individual situation.

There are four essential steps involved in getting a home study. Texas adoption agencies are best able to walk you through this process and remind you about various deadlines you need to meet.

Your Texas adoption home study will consist of the following:

The first thing you’ll need to do is gather all of the necessary documentation.  You’ll then mail, upload or deliver all of the documents to your home study provider.

If you’re not sure where to obtain some of your necessary documents, that’s where your adoption professionals will be helpful. For example, your home study provider can tell you where to get fingerprinted for Texas adoptions based on your location, and they can explain who you’ll need to contact to get your background check for adoption in Texas.

Next, your home study social worker will come to your home to interview your family — together and individually. This helps your social worker get a better idea of what your family is like and your general readiness for adoption.

They’ll ask some standard adoption home study questions. Texas adoptive parents are often nervous about this, but your professional will just want to talk to you about things like your family dynamic, your relationship with your spouse, your parenting techniques, views on adoption, etc.

After the interviews, your home study professional will tour your home with you. They want to make sure that your home would be a safe environment for your new child.

You won’t need to have your home fully child-proofed at this stage, but your social worker will want to see that you’ve thought about this, and that you’ve started implementing some basic child safety features.

Once you’ve received placement of your child, your social worker will return for a final round of in-home visits. These post-placement visits are to make sure that everyone is adjusting well. Prior to your finalization hearing, which commonly takes place about six months after placement, a judge will review these reports.

It’s helpful to understand the criteria that your social worker will be looking for. Home study requirements for adoption in Texas generally include:

  • Basic home safety measures
  • Your effort into understanding the adoption process
  • Your ability to explain your parenting philosophy, especially in regards to raising an adoptee
  • Character references from family, friends, or neighbors

Texas families should start collecting and organizing the necessary documents as soon as you can and start slowly implementing some basic safety upgrades in your home.

While there’s no need to have your home 100% ready for your child, the amount of time that the home study process requires often takes would-be adoptive parents by surprise, and they find themselves rushing to catch up.

Required documentation to gather and organize ahead of time:

  • Driver’s licenses
  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Most recent tax return
  • Recent medical statements from your doctors
  • Insurance records
  • Personal written statements about your intent to adopt
  • Reference letter for adoption from family, friends, or acquaintances (3-5 letters)
  • Green card (if applicable)
  • Military discharges (if applicable)
  • Previous adoption decrees (if applicable)
  • Pet vaccination records (if applicable)
  • Passports (for international adoption home studies)

Home safety measures to put in place before Texas adoption home visits typically include:

  • Fences around pools
  • Gates blocking stairs
  • Screens on windows
  • Functioning locks on doors and windows
  • Fire extinguisher
  • Working smoke and CO2 detectors
  • Covered trash cans
  • First-aid kit
  • Covered electrical outlets
  • Any weapons locked in a gun safe
  • Toxic substances (medicine, paint, cleaning supplies, etc.) out of reach of children
  • Bookcases and heavy furniture bolted to wall
  • Readily accessible list of emergency phone numbers and home emergency and evacuation plans

As can be seen, Texas families need to prepare for the adoption home study by fulfilling the requirements above and paying their necessary fees for the study.  The home study will provide the court with a better understanding of the environment the child is being sent into and will give a recommendation on whether the prospective adoptive parents are qualified and have a suitable home to raise their adopted child.

On another note, an adoption home study can be the biggest hold-up in the adoption process. Our support staff has been successful in communicating with the home study agency to get a realistic timeline, so our clients aren’t left in limbo.

If you have questions about your house being passed for a home study in an adoption in Texas, reach out to us by text 7 days a week at 361-648-6888.