International Homes Studies

Written by Stacy Chbosky
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Are you interested in adopting a child, but do not know when international homes studies are required of you? What about adopting a child from China, Russia, or another foreign country? If you have begun researching adoption, you may have already learned about the most important requirement for adopting a child from abroad: the international homes studies.

What is the Purpose of the International Homes Studies?

Both domestic homes studies and international homes studies are conducted for the same reason: to protect the mental health and physical safety of the infant or child. Adoption home studies are required in all fifty states as well as the District of Columbia, despite the fact that they are conducted differently in each state. In fact, homes studies (including international homes studies) even vary from agency to agency within an individual state.

You will be asked to write an autobiographical statement, in which you will answer specific questions about yourself and your background. You will then meet with a social worker, who will interview you and ask you to clarify parts of your written statement. At least one of these interviews will be conducted in your home, and anyone who lives in your home (including your other children, foster children, or your parents) will also be interviewed.

This interview makes most people very uncomfortable. They wonder if they should have a spotless home and a spotless past. If the home study interview makes you feel anxious, consider this: the social worker isn't testing you to see if you are perfect--which you aren't--but to see if you are loving, safe, and sane.


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