If you are adopting a child that is not related or not within the categories of relation qualifying as a kinship adoption, you will need to have a home study completed as part of the adoption process. You should have your requisite background checks completed prior to or in connection with requesting your home study as the reports will need to be reviewed by your social worker. In Bucks County, you can apply for a home study by filing a request for a preplacement home study. There is a filing fee due at the time of filing the request. Presently, it is $650.
In Montgomery County Children and Youth will only conduct home studies for adoptions through their foster care program. If you are doing a private adoption outside of the foster care system, you will need to complete the home study through an authorized social worker. A list of social workers authorized to conduct home studies for the county is available through the Orphan’s Court. The time to complete the home study is likely a few months. Cost for the home study can vary but averages close to $1,000. Montgomery County usually requires two post-placement visits as well which can be at a separate cost than the initial home study. Presuming your home study report is positive and supports the adoption, you can move forward with the final adoption hearing.