Home Study Program

Home Studies for Michigan Adoptive Families

Adoption Associates has a proven track record for professionally and efficiently completing adoptive home studies.

If you live in Michigan and hope to adopt a child through either Adoption Associates or another agency, we can help! Our licensed social workers are ready to guide you through the home study process in a cost-effective and timely manner. Adoption Associates has been completing adoptive home studies since 1990, so you are sure to receive top notch professional home study services. Adoption Associates is an adoption agency in Michigan and licensed by the State of Michigan to provide adoptive home studies.

For more information, please call our office at 616-667-0677. If you are ready to get started, please sign up for our online Adoption Portal Service to complete the Preliminary Application. After you have created a free account and submitted your preliminary application, you will be contacted by an AAI employee.

Common Questions About Home Study

What is a Home Study?

A home study is an assessment of prospective adoptive parents to see if they are suitable for adopting a child. The home study report is a summary of this assessment, which is required at the State level for domestic adoptions, and additionally at the Federal level for international adoptions.

Who does the Home Study?

AAI has several experienced caseworkers throughout Michigan who can complete adoptive home studies. AAI caseworkers meet eligibility requirements at the State and Federal level, and many are Master’s level social workers. These same caseworkers provide post adoption services as well.

What is a Home Study Interview?

You can expect to meet with your caseworker at least three or four times. These interviews are conversational in nature, and useful for gathering pertinent information for the home study assessment. We will consider a whole host of topics ranging from your personal and family history to your motivation and understanding of adoption. You can expect that at least one visit will take place in your home and each interview may last two to three hours in length. The caseworker will also meet with anyone else living in your home at least one time.

What paperwork is required for a Home Study?

In addition to the interviews, you will need to gather such things as personal reference letters, employment verification, medical examination summaries, background clearances, and financial statements. You will be completing several forms as well, including a financial status worksheet, social history questionnaires, a profile data sheet, and information on a guardianship plan. The caseworker will guide you through all of this!

What else will I have to do for a Home Study?

You’ll start by completing a preliminary application and being assigned to a caseworker. The caseworker will get you started on the paperwork and schedule the interviews with you. You will also be required to complete several hours of adoption-specific training. Your caseworker will give you specific requirements, which may be a combination of online trainings, videos, books, and articles.


Adoption Associates, Inc. is committed to helping prepare families for successful adoption. A vital component to the home study process is adoption education. As a client of Adoption Associates we urge you to learn as much as you can about the issues involved in adoption for the adoptive parents, birth parents, and the child. Therefore, it is mandatory that you complete the following requirements prior to the completion of your home study.

All clients should attend the Domestic Adoption Awareness meeting prior to starting their home study meetings (Not applicable to home study only clients). The other education should be completed prior to completion of the home study.

Adoption Preparation

  1. Domestic Adoption Awareness (3 hours) – presented by client’s local office
  2. How Your Attachment Style Affects Your Parenting” by Lisa Firestone, Ph.D. (included in DAA handbook)

Other Recommended Reading:

  1. Adoption is a Family Affair: What Relatives and Friends Must Know by Patricia Irwin Johnston
  2. The Adoption Decision: 15 Things You Want to Know Before Adopting by Laura Christianson
  3. Launching a Baby’s Adoption by Patricia Irwin Johnston

Birth Parent Relationships

  1. The Open-Hearted Way to Open Adoption (2 hours) by Lori Holden and Crystal Hass
  2. “Many Roads to Love” by Colleen Calvani (included in DAA handbook)
  3. “Open Adoption From the Other Side” by Barbara Herel (included in DAA handbook)

Other Recommended Reading:

  1. Because I Loved You by Patricia Dischler
  2. The Open Adoption Experience: A Complete Guide for Adoptive and Birth Families by Lois Melina
  3. Making Room in our Hearts: Keeping Family Ties Through Open Adoption by Micky Duxbury

Adoptive Parenting

  1. Whole Life Adoption Book (2 hours)  by Jayne Schooler
  2. Intentions video (Point Made Films – go to Films > “Adopted” > Purchase from Point Made Films. Go to Download Now and find  “We Can Do Better: Intentions Behind Adopting” for $9.99)
  3. “How I Explained Adoption” by Amy Klatzkin (included in DAA handbook)
  4. “Accurate Adoption Language” (included in DAA handbook)
  5. “Protect Me While I Sleep” (pamphlet in DAA handbook) and review the video: “Safe Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know”
  6. “The Journey of Attachment” (2 hours)

Other Recommended Reading:

  1. The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis
  2. Raising Adoptive Children, Revised Edition: Practical Reassuring Advice for Every Adoptive Parent by Lois Ruskai Melina
  3. The Family of Adoption: Completely Revised and Updated by Joyce Maguire Pavao

Transracial Issues in Adoption (required for those considering transracial adoption)

  1. “Transracial Parenting in Foster Care and Adoption” (30 min)(included in DAA handbook)
  2. “Transracial Preparation Plan” (30 min) (included in DAA handbook; complete in MAP)
  3.  “Conspicuous Families” (1.5 hours)
  4. “What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege” by Lori Lakin Hutcherson (included in DAA handbook)

Other Recommended Reading:

  1. Inside Transracial Adoption by Gail Steinberg and Beth Hall
  2. In Their Own Voices by Rhonda Roorda and Rita Simon

Grief and Loss

  1. “Seven Core Issues in Adoption” (included in DAA handbook)
  2. “Finding the Missing Pieces” (2 hours)

Other Recommended Reading:

  1. Real Parents, Real Children (2 hours) by Holly Van Gulden and Lisa M. Bartels-Rabb
  2. Before You Were Mine by Carissa Woodwyk and Susan TeBos

Adoption Preparation (if home study update)

  1. Empowered To Connect
    *Clients should choose, with the guidance of their social worker, as needed, two videos that will enhance the client’s current
    knowledge base and experience.
  2. Adoption Learning Partners
    *Clients should chose, with the guidance of their social worker, as needed, one online webinar that will enhance the client’s
    current knowledge base and experience.
  3. Creating a Family
    *Videos and articles assigned by your caseworker, as needed.
  4. Articles and other miscellaneous resources as assigned by your caseworker, as needed.

Once you have completed the assignments in each section, each applicant should complete a summary paragraph for each of the five sections in the portal. Please explain what you have learned and how this information can help shape your adoptive parenting experience. It is helpful if you reference each assigned book, article, and/or session in your summary.


As you begin your adoption journey, a home study is one of the first steps you will experience. An adoptive home study is completed by a licensed case worker, who is employed by a licensed agency in the state in which you reside. Your case worker will request that you complete educational materials that are appropriate to the type of adoption you are completing, and that meet government requirements.

Training Topics

  1. Information on the laws and adoption processes of the expected country of origin, including foreseeable delays and impediments to finalization of an adoption.
  2. An explanation of any reporting requirements associated with foreign adoptions, including any post-placement or post-adoption reports required by the expected country of origin.
  3. Information about the impact on a child of leaving familiar ties and surroundings, as appropriate to the expected age of the child.
  4. Information on the long-term implications for a family that has become multicultural through intercountry adoption.
  5. The intercountry adoption process, the general characteristics and needs of children awaiting adoption, and the in-country conditions that affect children in the foreign country from which the prospective adoptive parent(s) plan to adopt.
  6. The effects on children of malnutrition, relevant environmental toxins, maternal abuse, and any other known genetic, health, emotional, and developmental risk factors associated with children from the expected country of origin.
  7. Data on institutionalized children and the impact of institutionalization on children, including the effect on children of the length of time spent in an institution and of the type of care provided in the expected country of origin.
  8. Information on attachment disorders and other emotional problems that institutionalized or traumatized children and children with a history of multiple caregivers may experience, before and after their adoption.

Completing your Home Study with Adoption Associates – Required Training

  1. Complete One Hague Package (10 hours – certificate is required) Heart of the Matter – Because They Waited Intercountry Adoption Journey Adoption Learning Partners
  2. Read One Book (2 hours) The Connected Child by Karyn Purvis
  3. Review Educational Resources Online (1-2 hours) State Department Website – Review country-specific information Review the video: Safe Sleep: What Every Parent Needs to Know Health Risk Information Transracial Parenting Handbook (1/2 hour) – You must complete the Transracial/Transcultural Parent Preparation Plan in MAP after reading this handbook. Article: How Your Attachment Style Affects Your Parenting Blog: What I Said When My White Friend Asked for My Black Opinion on White Privilege
  4. Complete Two Assignments in MAP (1-2 hours) – Transracial/Transcultural Parent Preparation Plan – Parent Preparation/Resources Worksheet

Completing your Home Study with Adoption Associates – Required Training

  1. Two online videos at Empowered to Connect *
  2. One online webinar at Adoption Learning Partners *
  3. Videos and articles assigned by your caseworker on the Creating a Family website
  4. Articles and other miscellaneous resources assigned by the caseworker, as needed.


* Clients should choose, with the guidance of their case worker, as needed, the videos that will enhance the client’s current knowledge-base and experience.