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Choosing Your Home Study Agency
International Adoption Family Selecting an agency to conduct your home study (or preplacement assessment) can seem overwhelming, but in reality it is not complicated. You should choose an agency with which you feel comfortable and one that is responsive to your questions and concerns. If you have a specific time requirement for your home study, ask if they can accommodate that and do not hesitate to compare prices. Of course, the best way to find the right agency for you is to seek out recommendations. Go to an adoption support group meeting, or go online, and ask, ask, ask!

You and your employees are by far some of the most professional and helpful people I have ever met; and I have met many in my years as a police officer. Not only are you an excellent homestudy agency but your guidelines saved me about $3000 in attorney's fees. Several people have inquired about adopting, I have always recommended Nathanson Adoption and always will. Please know that I am grateful for all that you have done for my family. You helped me be a mom when all the medical intervention failed us. No one could have given me the gift that you guys have.
  • What is the difference between a home study agency and a child-placing agency, and which ones do I need?
  • A home study agency will be licensed by your home state to conduct home study assessments. That agency will not be involved in the actual child placing component of the adoption process. There are three reasons why families use separate home study and child-placing agencies:
    1. If the child-placing agency is out of state, you need a separate home study agency licensed in North Carolina to prepare your home study.
    2. Having a home study prepared by an independent home study agency ensures that, for now and in the future, you have the option of working with whatever child-placing agency or agencies you choose. You are not tied to using the agency that prepared your home study for your actual adoption.
    3. As in many other professional fields, it is always a good idea to have important work done by "specialists" - those with intensive experience and training in one particular area.
    Questions To Ask of a Home Study Agency:

  • How much does it cost?
  • Call or e-mail Nathanson Adoption Services and we would be glad to send you a list of all applicable fees for your situation. You can find our standard fee agreement here.
  • Are there any additional fees (required classes, application fee, travel fee?)
  • We have no application fee, and no required classes. There may be a travel fee, based on how far you live from the social worker’s home. For an international adoption, in order to be compliant with Hague regulations, your child placing agency may ask that you obtain additional adoption education. We would be glad to include that information in your homestudy.
  • How long does it take to complete a home study?
  • Our expedited reports take a few weeks, and regular reports take eight to eleven weeks to complete.
  • Can they expedite a report? How fast? What is that fee?
  • Nathanson Adoption Services is proud of its reputation as a highly responsive, compassionate agency. In an urgent situation, we can complete a home study in as little as three days to two weeks. There is an additional fee for expedited reports.
  • Do I have to write an autobiography?
  • Since our families report that writing an autobiography can slow down the process by weeks and months, we do not require one. Rather, our social workers spend the time and effort during the interviews to learn more about your personal history.
  • How many visits are there and where are the visits?
  • Typically, there are three visits, two at the social worker's office, and one in the home. Sometimes, your placing agency may require more visits, in which case we comply with those requirements.
  • Do families receive a copy of their home study?
  • Yes. After the home study is written, you will receive two copies of the report. At Nathanson Adoption Services we believe in full disclosure throughout the interview process. If we have a concern about you, we discuss it with you during the meetings - there are no surprises.
  • Can I speak to my social worker before I sign up for a home study to determine if we will work well together?
  • Yes, we invite you and encourage you to speak to the social worker in your area at any time.

    Abigail, Adopted From China At Nathanson Adoption Services, you receive personal service from social workers who are highly experienced in the international and domestic adoption processes. Since Nathanson Adoption Services specializes in home studies, we can provide you with a report that is tailored to your specific adoption needs. We are constantly educating ourselves on the changes in international and domestic adoption laws and regulations so that we are better able to provide you with information that is current and correct. We also work with your placing agency, USCIS (the immigration office), and the offices of the State of North Carolina to ensure that your adoption experience is successful.

  • How does Nathanson Adoption Services work with my child placement agency?
  • We communicate directly with your child placement agency to ensure that all requirements are fulfilled in your home study report and in your follow-up post-placement visits. In cooperating with your child-placing agency, we can often foresee and avoid potential problems in your adoption journey.

    Mark and Moya, Matthews
    We have used Nathanson Adoption Services for both of our adoptions. Helene Nathanson is a warm and caring person who took time to gather information for the homestudy, and educate us about issues like attachment and bonding. She also directed us to post adoption resources for early intervention and domestic re-adoption. To Helene and her staff, their work is more than just a job; it's a calling. I whole-heartedly recommend Nathanson Adoption Services to any family.

    - Claire, China
    Jan and Craig
    You were such a great help to us during our adoption of Anna and Dillon from Orel, Russia.Your knowledge and words of wisdom were invaluable to us during the greatest and most challenging journey of our lives. Thank you for helping us before, during and after our adoption. It is great to know that you really care about and are always there for your clients.

    - Anna and Dillon, Russia
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