All prospective persons wishing to adopt must first participate in a full investigation, which includes an assessment completed by a juvenile court officer, or a licensed social worker. This investigation determines whether the child is suitable for adoption by the adopter and whether the adopter(s) is suitable for the child. This assessment and investigation is known as the home study, and usually last six to eight weeks. During this time, interviews of the prospective parent(s) are conducted, and a home visit with all family members is completed. Information on each member of the household is investigated, including: medical and criminal background, child abuse history, documentation of income and financial resources, family structure within the home (other children, etc.), religious, educational, and physical and mental health history of all household members, and parenting background of the applicant(s) and their reasons for adoption. This information is then summarized, and forms the basis of the assessor's impressions and recommendations to a court of law.
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