Adoption Home Study Questions

If you are just beginning your adoption home study, you might be wondering – what kind of questions will the social worker be asking during our adoption home study interview? 

The adoption home study questions asked during the home study interview will vary by the topics required to be covered in your state, as well as the style and policies of your chosen home study provider. They can also vary by what type of home study you’re having performed – domestic infant, embryo, international, foster care, kinship etc. 

Below you will find some of the most common topics explored and related home study interview questions. 


Applicant’s Motivation for Adoption

  1. What are your reasons for wanting to adopt?  
  2. How long have you been considering adoption? 


Applicant’s Information:

  1. Describe your physical appearance including your height, weight, hair color, and eye color.
  2. How would you describe your personality? 
  3. What brings you the most fulfillment in life?  
  4. What areas of our life would like to improve?  
  5. What are your personal goals? 
  6. What are some of your core values? 
  7. Do you have any health concerns or chronic conditions?
  8. How do you take care of your health overall?
  9. How do you manage stress?  
  10. What do you do for self-care?  
  11. Do you have a history of substance abuse?
  12. Have you ever been a victim of physical abuse, sexual abuse, child abuse, or domestic violence? 
  13. Are you currently seeing a therapist, counselor, or psychiatrist?  
  14. Are you currently taking any medication?
  15. Have you completed any fertility treatments?
  16. Do you have any disabilities?  


Applicant’s Parents:

  1. What is your father’s name and where was he born?
  2. What was/is his occupation and level of education?
  3. What was/is your father’s personality like?
  4. What was/is your father’s role in the family?
  5. What kind of relationship did you have with your father while growing up?
  6. How did your father make you feel as a person?
  7. What did you like best about your father when you were a child?
  8. If you could, what would you change about your father?
  9. What kind of relationship do you have with your father today?  
  10. How often do you speak with or see your father?
  11. As an adult, what are your feelings toward your father?
  12. What kind of effect/impact did your father have on who you are today?
  13. What is your mother’s name and where was she born?
  14. What was/is her occupation and level of education?
  15. What was/is your mother’s personality like?
  16. What was/is your mother’s role in the family?
  17. What kind of relationship did you have with your mother while growing up?
  18. How did your mother make you feel as a person?
  19. What did you like best about your mother when you were a child?
  20. If you could, what would you change about your mother?
  21. What kind of relationship do you have with your mother today?  
  22. How often do you speak with or see your mother?
  23. As an adult, what are your feelings toward your mother?
  24. What kind of effect/impact did your mother have on who you are today?
  25. How would you describe the quality of your parent’s relationship? 
  26. If they were married, are they still? 
  27. Was there any spousal abuse? 
  28. How did you know your parent’s loved each other?
  29. Was there any usage of alcohol, tobacco or drugs in the home?
  30. How did you know your parents loved you?
  31. Who was the main disciplinarian?  
  32. How do you feel about the way your parents disciplined you?


Applicant’s Childhood and Siblings:

  1. Where were you born? 
  2. Where did you grow up? 
  3. What did your family do for fun and entertainment when you were a child and a teen?
  4. Summarize your childhood in a couple of words.
  5. If you could, what would you change about your childhood?
  6. Describe your happiest childhood memory.
  7. Describe your most traumatic childhood memory.
  8. Did you have a lot of friends when you were growing up? 
  9. Where and how did you learn about sex?
  10. What were your parents’ message about sex?
  11. What was your parents’ attitude about dating?
  12. When did you first date? 
  13. When did you begin dating seriously?  
  14. What are the names and ages of your siblings?
  15. What kind of relationship did you have with your siblings when you were growing up?
  16. Which sibling are you closest to?                                                                                
  17. Were all the siblings treated the same by your parents?  
  18. What kind of relationship do you have with your siblings today?    
  19. Where do your siblings live?  
  20. How often do you have contact with them?


Applicant’s Education & Employment:

  1. What is your highest level of education?
  2. If you attended college, where did you attend?
  3. When did you graduate?
  4. What degree did you earn?
  5. Describe your professional employment history.


Applicant’s Financial Status:

  1. Do you have medical insurance?  
  2. If not, how do you manage your medical needs financially?
  3. Do you have life insurance?  
  4. What is the benefit amount of your life insurance?
  5. Who is the beneficiary of your life insurance?
  6. What is your net monthly income? 
  7. Do you have joint checking accounts?  
  8. Do you have a savings account?
  9. How do you feel about your ability to manage money?  
  10. Have you ever filed bankruptcy? 
  11. How will an additional child impact your finances?
  12. What would you do in a financial crisis?  
  13. Do you plan to leave your job or decrease work hours after a child is placed with you?


Applicant’s Religion:

  1. Do you identify with a certain faith or denomination?
  2. Where do you attend faith-related services?
  3. What faith-based activities are you involved in?
  4. How often do you attend?
  5. How will you provide your child with opportunities for religious and spiritual development?
  6. Do your religious beliefs prohibit certain medical treatments? 


Applicant’s Grief and Loss History:

  1. Describe a loss you have endured.
  2. How did you deal with this loss?
  3. How has it impacted your thoughts on grief and loss?
  4. How will you help a child experiencing the feelings of grief and loss?


Applicant’s Criminal History:

  1. Have you ever been arrested, charged or convicted of a crime?  
  2. Have any domestic violence calls been made to the home?
  3. Have you ever had a child legally removed from your care or had a period of separation from any child?


Applicant’s Current Relationship (when applicable):

  1. When, where, and how did you meet? 
  2. What attracted you to your spouse?
  3. How long did you date before deciding to marry?
  4. What made you decide to get married?
  5. When and where did you get married?  
  6. How long have you been married?
  7. What was your family’s reaction when you told them you were getting married?
  8. What are some of the adjustments you had to make when married?
  9. How are you and your spouse similar?
  10. How are you and your spouse different?
  11. What activities do you do alone?
  12. What activities do you do with your spouse?  
  13. Describe your marriage.   
  14. What are the strengths and weaknesses of your marriage?  
  15. What have you learned being married?
  16. How do you feel about yourself as a husband/wife?  
  17. What is your role in the relationship?
  18. How do you support your spouse?   
  19. Who is the primary decision maker in your family?   
  20. Who handles the finances?
  21. How are household responsibilities shared?
  22. What are some challenges you have faced in your relationship?
  23. How did you resolve them?
  24. What are some of the adjustments you and your spouse will have to make in your relationship when a new child comes to your home?  
  25. How will you keep your relationship stable?
  26. Does your spouse want to adopt as much as you? 
  27. Have you ever hit your spouse?  
  28. Have you ever been hit by your spouse?
  29. Have you ever been in marital counseling?  
  30. Have you ever had a marital separation?
  31. Have you ever been involved in an extra marital affair?
  32. How well do you feel your spouse meets your intimacy needs?
  33. How do you feel you meet your spouse’s intimacy needs?
  34. Are you satisfied with your sex life?


Applicant’s Previous Significant Relationships:

  1. Do you have any previous marriages or serious relationships?
  2. Date of marriage or commitment ceremony and date and place of divorce(s) or separation, when applicable?
  3. What caused the marriage(s)/relationship to end? 
  4. Do you have any children from your previous marriage(s) or any other relationship(s) who do not live with you?  
  5. If yes, what are the names and ages of all children and where they live.
  6. Do you currently pay child support?  
  7. What does your current visitation with that child look like? 
  8. What is your past and current relationship with that child(ren)?

Applicant’s Extended Family:

  1. What is your extended family’s attitude toward adoption and adopted children?
  2. What involvement will your extended family have with the adopted child?
  3. Describe your support system.
  4. Who do you choose to be the child’s guardian in the event that something happens to both adoptive parents?


Applicant’s Childcare Plans and Discipline Views:

  1. What is your experience caring for children?
  2. What are your plans for childcare if you and/or our partner work outside the home?
  3. How will you discipline your child or children?
  4. What do you feel parents are responsible for teaching their children? 
  5. Do you intend to use corporal punishment as a form of discipline?


Applicant’s Beliefs Regarding Abuse and Neglect:

  1. How do you feel about children who have been abused/neglected?  
  2. How would you help a child who has suffered abuse/neglect?
  3. Do you feel adopted children should be treated the same as biological children?
  4. If you have been a victim of abuse or neglect, how does that affect your ability to parent a child who has been through a similar situation?


Applicant’s Beliefs Regarding Birth Parents:

  1. What are your feelings towards birth parents?
  2. What are your thoughts regarding ongoing contact with birth family members? How will this contact impact your children?
  3. Discuss your family’s desire for an open or semi-open adoption, comfortability regarding ongoing contact (visits, pictures, gifts, etc.).
  4. When does your family intend to tell the child that he or she is adopted? 
  5. Will you support an adopted child’s decision to contact their biological parents in the future?


Applicant’s Home Environment:

  1. What is the square footage of your home?
  2. What type of home do you live in? (Brick, Apartment etc.)
  3. What year was the house built?
  4. Number of bedrooms?
  5. Give a description of the layout of the home.
  6. Describe your neighborhood and amenities near-by.
  7. Does the home have sufficient smoke detectors and fire extinguisher? 
  8. Are there firearms in the home?  
  9. How are they locked up?
  10. Is there a pool or trampoline? 
  11. What precautions and safety measures are placed for those?  
  12. Where are tools kept?  
  13. Where are household chemicals kept?  
  14. Any hazards in the garage or yard?   
  15. What is the escape plan in the event of a fire or flood?  
  16. In the event of a major evacuation, what is your plan?


Applicant’s Pets:

  1. Name and type(s) of pet(s).
  2. Disposition and friendliness towards adults and children.
  3. Vaccination status.


Type of Child Desired:

  1. What age range of children are you open to?
  2. How many children are you open to? 
  3. Are you open to twins or sibling groups?
  4. Do you have a race preference for the child coming into your home?
  5. Are you open to substance exposure during the pregnancy, when applicable?
  6. Are you open and willing to have an ongoing relationship with the birth parents, when applicable? 
  7. Are you open to a mental or physical health history present in the genetic history of the birth parents? 
  8. Are you open to a child with special needs?