The Home Study Process

The Home Study: Applicants wishing to adopt a non-related child MUST have a home study completed prior to placement of a child.  If you reside in Washoe County, home studies must be completed by Washoe County Human Services Agency (HSA). This process may differ slightly if you have adopted previously or are adopting as a foster parent.

The purpose of the home study is to help the agency social work staff become better acquainted with you and your family; to help you decide whether adoption is really for you; and to assist you in preparing for the life-long commitment of adoption. The rules and regulations regarding adoption serve to protect the best interests of children and to make sure they are placed in a loving, caring, healthy and safe environment.

What is contained in the Home Study?
  • Application form including: description of family, home, family activities and two questionnaires
  • References
  • Criminal record check and fingerprint clearance
  • Child abuse and neglect reporting system check
  • Interviews and home visits with a case worker
  • Physical Exam for family members
  • Discussion of various types of adoption
  • Discussion of the type of child you wish to adopt, a review of community and individual resources available to the type of child you plan to adopt.

The home study is used as a screening tool and as an educational process where you are encouraged to have your questions and concerns about adoption answered. Unless there are unusual circumstances, the home study should be completed in 90 days.

Adoptive families have the right to read their home study, except for confidential references. Copies of the home study can only be released to another licensed child placing agency.
Families intending to accept adoptive placements from HSA need to obtain a foster care license.  This does not require you to provide foster care.