An Adoption Home Study is a detailed report written by a licensed social worker. It is a requirement of the state, which serves to determine the appropriateness of adoption for your family. The home study process includes several visits to your home, documentation of your childhood experiences, your motivation to adopt, and details about your professional life, education, values, hobbies, and financial stability. It also requires personal references and NJ State Police and FBI fingerprints and child abuse background checks.
It is also a time in which you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of the complex issues surrounding adoption. Although, this process can seem invasive and be anxiety-ridden for any family, it is also a time of joy and excitement as you anticipate expanding your family. As you share details of your life and background, we ask that you be open and honest so we can help facilitate a successful adoption placement. Since we are a child-centered adoption agency, we need to be assured that a child is placed in a loving, caring, healthy, and safe environment.
The average timeline for completion of the home study report, from the time we receive your adoption application is about 3 months.
Post Placement Supervision
Following New Jersey State regulations, a licensed social worker is required to visit any family placed with a child within 14 calendar days of initial placement. The primary purpose of the visit is to ensure that everyone is adjusting well to the placement and that the child is happy, healthy, and safe.
After the first visit, your social worker will be conducting bi-monthly (monthly if the child is over 5 years old) visits for at least 6 months. At each of these visits, your social worker will continue to make note of how everyone is adjusting: how relationships and roles have changed within the family, how siblings are reacting, and how other friends and family have viewed the adoption. Your social worker will also want to see medical records, ensuring that developmental milestones and medical needs are being met. In addition, there will be questions about child care, attachment and bonding, school or day care adjustment, discipline, and the family’s daily routine.
During your supervision period, the Adoption Program of LSMNJ can provide you with a list of adoption attorneys in New Jersey. An attorney may be necessary in assisting you through the finalization step. One court hearing, at least 6 months after placement, will be necessary to finalize your adoption. We can work with your attorney on generating the reports and gathering the necessary documents for this hearing.
In either an open infant or waiting child adoption, once the judge signs the judgment of adoption, your adoption is finalized! Although your adoption is final, we are still available to assist you in any way possible; whether, it is a referral to an adoption support group, attachment therapist, or assistance in establishing and continuing an open relationship with birthparents.
Adoption Complaint Investigation (ACI)
ACI’s are required for step-parent or family member adoptions and is similar to an adoption homestudy. A LSMNJ Adoption social worker will conduct one visit to your home and prepare a report to the court in conjunction with your attorney.
Our LSMNJ Adoption staff can provide prospective adoptive families and birthparents with support and adoption assistance even when they are not matched by our agency but rather are already familiar with each other. We will provide you with a completed a homestudy, prepare and execute legal consent documents, serve as hospital liaisons, and facilitate post placement adoptive services for both the birth and adoptive families.
The Adoption Program of LSMNJ provides search and reunion services to adoptees who were adopted through our agency or birth parents who placed a child through our agency. Our fees are based on the service requested. We can provide background information and/or perform a search through our investigator. Reunion with birth families can be a very positive, healing process, but it is also fraught with emotion. Our Adoption Program is ready to assist in whatever way we can to help make the journey a rewarding one.
Workshops and Training
The Adoption Program of LSMNJ provides workshops, trainings, and events throughout the year. We provide opportunities for education, support, and networking for current and past families. Regular trainings include our Open Infant Adoption Training and our Transcultural and Transracial Adoption Training. Recent workshops and events have included a Family Pizza Party, Lifebook Workshops, a Family Potluck Game Night, and a Tea Time Book Discussion. Each September, the Adoption Program of LSMNJ welcomes all who are interested, current, future, and past families, along with adoption advocates and supporters, to join us for our Annual Picnic, with games, fun, and BBQ for all.
For more information or to obtain fees for the services listed above, please Contact Us or call our office at 1-800-458-0651.