Domestic Adoption

Home Study Services

Adoption Center of Illinois provides home study services to couples and individuals enrolled in our programs as well as Domestic and International Home Studies for families who are registered with other agencies outside of Illinois.

We routinely conduct home studies for Illinois residents who are engaged in independent adoptions and/or international adoptions in conjunction with another adoption service provider..

Because adoption is governed by state law and not by national law, residents of Illinois who want to adopt a child born in another other state (or country), need the support and cooperation of a local, Illinois licensed child welfare agency that provides adoption services.

The Home Study only process is similar for domestic and international adoptions. All international home studies conform to Illinois and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) guidelines, and include any and all information required by the country or state where the child resides.

The Home Study process involves the following steps:

  1. ACI assigns you a home study worker. This adoption specialist will be your primary contact at the agency.
  2. You and the home study worker arrange a convenient day and time to meet in your home. This face-to-face interview is usually scheduled during regular business hours Monday through Friday.
  3. Your home study worker will interview you about your background, family life, adoption expectations and parenting philosophy. A home inspection is conducted during this meeting to ensure compliance with Illinois Department of Children & Family Services (DCFS) standards. lL licensing and USCIS procedures are reviewed as needed.
  4. In some instances, follow-up visits are scheduled in order to collect and finalize information.
  5. Within a month of completing your home study visit(s), your social worker will prepare a written Home Study document. This can be expedited if necessary under extenuating circumstances.
  6. For all Home Studies, an edited draft is provided to families to review for factual accuracy and given to placing agencies to review for state or country specific information. Documents are then finalized and forwarded to the Illinois DCFS.

Information contained in a Home Study:

  • Your adoption expectations, including preferences regarding the number, gender, ages, health status, and backgrounds of potential adopted children.
  • A brief summary of the reasons why you decided to adopt.
  • How you plan to address the issue of adoption with your child.
  • Your attitudes and experience with child rearing, which includes your experience with children and how you plan to raise your adopted child.
  • A section that describes various personal characteristics including your physical description, physical and mental health, and personality.
  • A section describing their upbringing, family relationships, and the composition of their family of origin.
  • If you are married, your courtship and marriage history will be covered.
  • A history of your education and employment will be discussed.
  • A description of the physical aspects of your home and a description of your community and its resources are included.
  • Your finances are reviewed to verify that you have the means to adopt and provide for a child. Families must adhere to federal, state and country specific income guidelines. Families will be required to obtain child abuse and neglect background clearances from the IDCFS (Illinois Department of Children and Family Services), and criminal clearances from the Illinois state Police, FBI and National Sex Offender registry
  • The final section of the home study document contains our recommendations for adoption based on all the above information.

ACI releases Home Studies to third parties only with your written permission.