In New York State, you have the option to have a home study completed by a licensed child-placing agency or by a licensed social worker or someone designated by the court.
What’s the difference?
- Flexibility – Many states will not accept a home study unless it has been completed by a licensed, child-placing agency. If you are interested in adopting outside of NY, if you are considering working with an agency/attorney with national reach, or even if you just want to keep that option open, the agency home study is your best bet. If you complete a home study with a social worker (non-agency) and then decide to adopt nationally, you may need to complete a brand new home study with a licensed, child-placing agency. This means you would be spend additional time and money completing a second home study.
- Experience – Social workers contracted through an agency will have been carefully screened. Choosing to have a home study completed by an agency will ensure that the social worker you meet with will be knowledgeable, experienced, and up to date on any recent changes in home study requirements. Should you choose to have your home study completed by an individual social worker, make sure you ask how often s/he completes home studies, and when their most recent home study was completed!
- Collaboration – If you choose to have your home study completed by an independent social worker, you should ask how frequently they work with your identified agency or attorney. Agencies and attorneys may have specific requests for the home study. It would be helpful if your worker knows what specifics are important to include. Home study social workers contracted through a licensed, child-placing agency will know what is expected of the agency already, eliminating that concern.
- Cost – Fees may be lower if you work with an independent social worker. This option may be beneficial if you have already identified a birthparent or a child to adopt in NY, and you simply need a home study to move forward with your adoption attorney. *If you are unsure how you plan to adopt, working with an independent social worker may end up costing you more: if you ultimately decide to join an agency, many agencies may want addendums or updates added to a home study, or they may require you to have a brand new home study completed through them. This means you would be spending money (and time!) on a second home study.
Independent Adoption Center is a full service adoption agency licensed in New York and seven other states. Please contact us at 1 (800) 877-OPEN to learn more about our New York homestudy services.