Pennsylvania Adoptions: The Home Study

If you are considering a Pennsylvania adoption, you may be asking yourself, “Where do I begin?”

Home Study

The first and perhaps one of the most important steps in your adoption process will be to obtain an adoption home study. Under Pennsylvania law, adoption home studies can be conducted by a local child-care agency, a licensed adoption agency, or a licensed social worker designated by the court to perform such a study (23 PACS Section 2530).


Basically, an adoption home study is a written report by a social worker who has met with the applicants on several different occasions. The purpose of the home study is to educate, prepare, conduct a mutual assessment of the applicants, and to gather information about you as the prospective adoptive parents.

This process can take from two (2) to ten (10) months, in some cases even longer. The home study will be reviewed by the court in conjunction with the adoption proceedings. Before selecting an agency to conduct a home study for your needs, you should research adoption agencies in your area, find out if they offer home study services, and the fees involved.

Required Documents

All adoption home studies in Pennsylvania will require an in-home visit and interview with all members of your household. You will be required to gather a number of documents for your adoption home study.

For example, you will need a full background check for each prospective adoptive parent, financial information and family information. You must also understand that adopting a child is a lengthy legal process and there is a lot of paperwork involved.

For the adoption home study, you will need to apply for state and federal background clearances. It is wise to do this as early as possible as these clearances may take a considerable amount of time to obtain.

If you need a lawyer to help you with your Pennsylvania adoption, contact the Pennsylvania adoption lawyers at Trinity Law, where we’ve been helping families with adoptions for over 30 years. Contact us at or call 717-843-8046.