Home Study Process

Like other states, Iowa requires every prospective adoptive family to complete a “home study” before they can begin the adoption process.  Whether you use an agency or a private lawyer, you are legally required to complete a home study before you can adopt. A home study is a necessary step to ensure that the family is prospective family is ready and capable to adopt.  

The Iowa adoption home study is completed in just a few easy steps:

  1. Select a home study provider near you. In Iowa, you might work with Adoption Associates of Iowa.
  2. Submit fingerprints and obtain your criminal records from any applicable law enforcement agencies. This will all be part of your background check.
  3. Meet with your home study professional to learn about any additional materials you’ll need for the Iowa adoption home study.
  4. Prepare everything you’ll need to give to your social worker.  Items may include, but are not limited to:
    • Birth certificates
    • Marriage certificates
    • Driver’s licenses
    • Proof of insurance
    • Green card, if applicable
    • Passports if you intent do pursue an international adoption
    • Health statements indicating that both your physical and mental health is sufficient to take care of a child
    • Background checks and clearances
    • Financial documents (i.e. pay stubs, income statements, tax returns)
    • Names and contact information for people you would like to use as references
    • Autobiographical statements that explain a little about yourselves and why you are interested in adopting
  5. Receive your social worker into your home for the home inspection and interviews.
  6. Upon receiving the home study document in the mail, verify with your social worker that all information is correct. If there are any changes, tell the home study professional immediately.