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 home study 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.
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 less than three 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? No. 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. The social worker can help you to sort through all of the various options and help you select a program (domestic or international), an agency (Cradle of Hope or another) and if you choose international, which country might work best for you. You will need to determine your adoption path before the homestudy process is completed.
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.