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.
A standard adoption will require a home study to be completed by the local Children & Youth services agency or other approved social worker. This process can be expensive and takes a number of months to complete as several visits to your home will be required. The social worker completing the report would observe the home and ask certain questions of the prospective parents. A recommendation as to whether the home is suitable for a child and whether the parents should be permitted to adopt is included in the report. All of this information is submitted to the court in connection with your adoption petition. A Report of Intent to Adopt should be filed to get started with the home study process.