Our fees are as follows:
$800 for a traditional two-parent home study in Austin and surrounding areas
$650 for a single, step or second-parent adoption home study in Austin and surrounding areas
Fees for post-placement services vary based on the requirements of that specific case such as number of meetings and reports.
There is an additional travel fee for families located outside the Central Texas area.
The first step is for families to complete paperwork, including submitting forms for their background checks. Since the DFPS Central Registry Check usually takes months to receive back, we can go ahead and complete our home visit and interviews while we wait on those results. After the initial paperwork is submitted to us, we can usually schedule the meeting quickly, depending on the availability of the family. The final report is typically finalized within one or two weeks after the meeting, assuming all the required documentation has been provided.
For step-parent or second-parent adoption home studies, the process is very similar to that of two-parent adoption studies. All the same paperwork is submitted and both parents are interviewed. The individual interview with the biological parent is shorter than that for the adopting parent; however, the rest of the process is the same.
Depending on what county you are adopting through, your judge might require both parents (even the biological one) to complete the background checks. Please check with your attorney regarding your county and judge's specific requirements for background checks.
The Heart of Texas social workers are based in Austin but we do frequently travel to meet with families in other areas of Texas such as San Antonio, Houston and Dallas.
Besides completing the initial paperwork, there is not much else that families need to do to prepare for our home visit. The home study meeting is more about the people than it is about the house. We request a quick tour of the home and ask about plans for things such as locking up firearms and keeping children safe from bodies of water on the property. However, the majority of the visit is spent interviewing and talking about topics such as your parenting style, relationships, careers, extended family and experiences during your childhood.
Please contact us and we'll be happy to answer any questions you have.