Adoption Home Study
The Florida Adoption Center provides Home Study Services for potential Adoptive Parents. We can provide Home Study Services whether it is an independent home study for use in a family adoption, or an adoption for a child residing in another state, and of course for use in an adoption facilitated through the Florida Adoption Center.
What is a Home Study?
The Adoption Home Study is a detailed report prepared by Agency staff and approved by one of our Managing Directors.
The Home Study is a process which requires three or more face to face meetings with prospective Adoptive Parents. These meetings take place both in our offices and in your home. Information is gathered, and a report produced which will eventually be presented to the Judge who will finalize the adoption. The Home Study report contains very detailed information about the Adoptive Family, and some of the documentation you will be asked to provide includes:
- Birth, Marriage, and Divorce Certificates as applicable
- Finger Print, FBI background checks, Affidavit of Good Moral Character
- Copies of Social Security Cards
- Financial Information, Earnings, Savings, Investments, W2, 1040 Tax Form
- Health Information, Physicals, Medical Insurance
- Copy of Driver’s License, Vehicle Verification
- Copy of Deed or Lease/Rental Agreement
- Employment Verification and reference from your employer
- Personal References
- References from school officials for any school-age children you have living in your home
- Pictures of Prospective Adoptive Family, Pictures of Home, Floor Plan
- Pet Information including Vaccination Records
- Child Abuse Registry Check, FBI/FDLE Clearance
- Local Law Enforcement Checks
(The list above is representative of the documentation required, but is not intended to be an exhaustive list).
In addition to providing the above information we also include a detailed psychosocial assessment of the Prospective Adoptive Family. A member of our staff will visit with you in your home, we will interview each member of the family, explore your living circumstances, marital status, previous marriages, other children, parenting and discipline styles and family belief systems. The Home Study also involves a site visit of your home to make sure you have room for your new family member and to verify residency and safety. During the home visit we will ask you to provide a floor plan. Our staff member will take photographs of each room, plus the front and back of the property and yard.
Please be aware, Home Study Approval is not guaranteed. We will advise you of Approval in writing.
Don’t worry, this process may seem daunting or scary, but we are here to walk you through the process and will make it as easy and stress free as possible. During the Home Study process it is important to be open and honest with your Adoption Specialist. Everyone involved works hard to ensure a successful adoption.
The Adoption Home Study Process: https://www. childwelfare.gov/pubs/f-homstu/
Already Have a Home Study?
Great, we welcome Prospective Adoptive Parents with a current Home Study produced by another agency. We will review your Home Study and will update it if necessary.
Call us for more information on the process.
Home Study Need Updating?
The Home Study has to be kept current in order to remain valid. A change in family circumstances, someone new living in the home, job change, divorce, major health changes must all be documented in your home study. We provide update services.
Ready To Get Started With Your Home Study?
Below is a Home Study Documentation Check List. This checklist itemizes all the information we will need in order to get started on the Home Study process. Please refer to the check list, and the instructions below. We have provided copies of the required forms below and in our “Forms” Section.
Home Study Documentation Check List
Download: Home Study Documentation Checklist – (143KB PDF)
Home Study Update Documentation Check List
Download: Home Study Update Documentation Checklist – (145KB PDF)
Confidential Home Study Information Form
Please complete the Home Study Information Form in its entirety. Follow the directions on the form. All sections must be completed.
Download: Confidential Home Study Inventory Form – (334KB Word document)
Child Abuse Hotline Record Search
Download: Central Abuse Hotline Record Search – (4MB PDF)
Please download and complete the Central Abuse Hotline Record Search. One form should be completed in its entirety for each adult over the age of 18. Children living in the home must be listed, with the exception of Foster Children.
The Form should be returned, for processing, to:
Florida Adoption Center, LLC.
1840 Sarno Rd, Melbourne, FL 32935
Affidavit of Good Moral Character
This form is to be completed and signed by both Adoptive Parents (applicants) and anyone else over the age of 18 years, living in the home.
Download: Affidavit of Good Moral Character Form – (67KB PDF)
Local Background Check
The local background checks are done at your local Sherriff’s department or Police department. Go to the front desk and ask for a “Certified” or “Notarized” local background check. A local background check is required for everyone over the age of 18 years living in the home. There is usually a nominal fee for this service. The fee is usually charged for each name being searched. As an example: Married women will have to pay for both their maiden name and their married names.
Download: Background Fingerprint Instructions – (122KB PDF)
Livescan Background Screening Submission – DCF Fingerprint Clearances
Download the attached form which has our Agency Code already inserted. Take this form to a fingerprint location convenient for you. We have put a website address that gives details of fingerprinting locations. In addition, the form also has other fingerprinting location information.
Download: DCF-Fingerprinting LiveScan Form – (26KB PDF)
Here is a list of fingerprinting services and locations:
Note: There is a charge for this service, and charges vary by location but expect to pay $30-$40 per person.
The results of your fingerprint check will be emailed directly to the Agency. It is a good idea to contact us and let us know you have had your fingerprints taken so we will look out for the results to come back.
Medical Reports for Adoptive Parents and Children
Every member of the household, adults, and children are required to have a physical. Forms have been provided for both Adults and Children. These forms should be downloaded and given to your Primary Care Doctor to complete when you have your physical. If you had a physical within the last 60 days this information can be used to complete the medical forms. The physician must sign and date the form and must stamp it with their office stamp.
Shot Records for Children
Please include shot records for all children under the age of 18 years currently living in the home.
In order to verify your income, you will need to provide a photocopy of your most recent tax return (all pages). Please note we are unable to copy this for you. Copier services are available at locations such as your local library, Staples, Office Depot, etc.
Employment Reference Letters
Please provide notarized letter/s from your employer/s which states the following:
- Employment status (full or part-time)
- Length of time you have been employed with this employer
- Expected Salary for the current year
- Does the employer provide medical insurance? If yes, does this coverage extend to employees’ family members?
- The probability you will continue employment in the future
Self-employed applicants will be required to provide a notarized letter from a CPA in lieu of the employer’s letter.
Family Financial Statement
Please complete the attached financial worksheet, which should be notarized, and returned to the Agency.
Download: Family Financial Statement – (40KB PDF)
Copies of Bank Statements etc
Copies of bank statements (all pages), most recent, for all checking, savings and investment accounts.
Provide copies of car insurance policy documents for all household vehicles.
Provide copies of health insurance policies. Please High Light the section which refers to coverage for Adopted Children.
Provide copies of all life insurance policies.
Please provide Five Reference Letters, written by people who know you well. Below is a guideline for the information that should be included in the reference letters. A reference letter can be written for an individual, or for a couple. Only one letter may be from a family member.
Download: Reference Letter Guidelines – (62KB PDF)
Please follow the submission directions for reference letters:
All letters must have a signature. We are requesting that you type your letter in a word document, email an unsigned copy of your letter (the word document) to Office@FloridaAdoptionCenter.com and in addition print off a hard copy, sign it and mail the signed copy to:
Florida Adoption Center, LLC
1840 Sarno Rd, Melbourne, FL 32935
Copies of Documentation
Provide photocopies of Birth Certificates, Marriage Certificates & Divorce Decrees (for every marriage and divorce for Adoptive Parents), and Child Support Orders for all children not living in the home.
Copy of Driver’s License
Please provide a copy of your driver’s license. This is required for all Adoptive Applicants (both parents).
Guardianship Designation Statement
You will be required to identify guardian/s for the adopted child in the event something should happen to you. The attached Guardianship form should be completed and signed by both applicants and chosen guardians.
Download: Guardianship statement – (38KB PDF)
Applicants who have been arrested in the past, for any reason, at any age, will have to have this fact noted in the Home Study. If the arrest was dismissed, expunged, or sealed by the court it will still be addressed in the Home Study. If an applicant has an arrest history the applicant will need to contact the Clerk of Courts in the county where the arrest occurred to obtain a certified copy of the disposition, or a letter from the Clerk stating there are no longer any records of the arrest on the file.
An FBI check of your fingerprints will be submitted for clearance.
Documentation Or Copies Of CPR Certification
Please supply a copy of your CPR Certification. This is required for all Adoptive Applicants. If you have not completed this at the time you submit your application this is fine, but we must have this completed before your Home Study can be approved.
First Aid and Safety Training
Please provide a copy of your First Aid and Safety Training. If you have not completed this at the time you submit your application this is fine, but we must have this completed before your Home Study can be approved.
Adoptive Parent Training Certificate
Please provide a copy of your Adoptive Parent Training Certificate.
Floor Plan of Home
Please provide a floor plan for your home.
Photographs of Family Members and Pets
Please provide, a Photograph of each family member and all pets. We require actual hard copy photographs not digital. If you use digital photography you may print out hard copies cheaply at Walmart.
Photographs Of Home & Yard
Photographs of all rooms in the house including garage, front view of the house, back view of the house, and view of the yard. View of Pool. Actual Photograph not digital. If you use digital photography you may get hard copies printed cheaply at Walmart.
- Home Study Documentation Checklist
- Home Study Documentation Checklist Update
- Confidential Home Study Inventory Form
- Central Abuse Hotline Record Search
- Affidavit of Good Moral Character Form
- DCF-Fingerprinting LiveScan Form
- Background Fingerprint Instructions
- Medical Report – Adults
- Medical Report – Children
- Family Financial Statement
- Reference Letter Guidelines
- Guardianship Statement
DON’T FORGET THE PROFILE BOOK!
We have included some resources about Profile Book to help you better develop your opportunity to grow your family:
Tips & Hints from other professionals, adoptees, and adoptive parents
https://www.amazon.com/How-Create-Successful-Adoption-Portfolio-ebook/dp/B00HDCAU44 – Book you can buy from Amazon
Profile Creation Services
https://arrowandroot.wixsite.com/home – You purchase a profile template of your choice (5 options), which comes with a how-to video and an e-book, so it’s a service, but also a DIY)
DIY Profile Creation Sites and Tools
**Tools are items other families have suggested**