When embarking on an adoption, the fees and costs can be daunting. It is so important to know what the entire adoption will cost, from start to finish. When seeking a home study provider, one has options. If a licensed agency is being used for the adoption, most offer home study services. They range in fees, depending on the agency. Attorney’s will often refer to a licensed social worker to complete a home study. The least expensive option is generally finding a licensed, experienced social worker to complete the study. In my 20 years of doing home studies, the price range I have heard is from $750 to $1800 per study. Agencies may take a fee to collect the paperwork and review the home study, which can create higher fees.
If a home study is needed for a straightforward adoption, it is perfectly fine to use a licensed social worker who is familiar with what has to be in a home study. If there is something that is complicated, such as many moves in the last five years (abuse clearance must be obtained from every place the hopeful adoptive family has lived in the last five years), or arrests or other situation that may cause a home study to be more difficult, one can still use a licensed social worker, but please make sure they are experienced with these types of issues. Licensed agencies will be able to handle any situation.
A home study provider will most likely be the same person who will do the post placement visits. There are either two or three post placement visits before a finalization hearing can be set. The post placement visits are in the range of $150 – $300 per visit, depending on who does the visits. Generally, agencies are more expensive due to agency fees and supervision. The best thing to do is to do some research and see your options in your area. See who you feel you can work with and who is most compatible with you. Make sure the home study provider is licensed in Florida, as this is very important. There is a good chance you will know exactly who you want to do your home study after one conversation. Remember, they are going to ask many questions and get to know you very well; they will have access to your personal information. Make sure you have a good feeling about them!