By Matthew T. Hovey, Esquire
In honor of National Adoption Month (November), I launched last month a ten part series on Adoptions in Pennsylvania. The sixth piece in this series focuses on the question: will I need a home study? If you are interested in an adoption, I encourage you to please return and read my articles on adoptions.
Unless you fit into the exception contained in 23 Pa.C.S. § 2531(c), you will be required to submit to a home study and pre-placement report. Pursuant to § 2531(c), no study or report is required when the child is the “child, grandchild, stepchild, brother or sister of the whole or half blood, or niece or nephew by blood, marriage, or adoption of the person receiving or retaining custody or physical care.” In other words, family (in the traditional sense) is excepted from this requirement.
For all other situations, a home study and pre-placement report are required. Pursuant to § 2531(a), the home study must be conducted by “a local public child-care agency, an adoption agency, or a licensed social worker designated by the court to perform such a study.” The study must be have been completed within three years of the intended adoption and reviewed within the year prior to the adoption. Upon the completion of the home study, the reviewer must issue a pre-placement report consistent with the requirements of § 2531(b), to be submitted to the court. During this period, under certain circumstances, the child may be placed with the adoptive parents pending the completion of the study.
If you, a family member, friend, or coworker are considering an adoption, please call our office and setup a free initial consultation.