When you contact an agency, you will likely be invited to attend an orientation session where you and other potential adoptive parents will learn about the agency’s procedures and you will receive application forms. If your application is accepted, you’ll pay a registration fee and go on to a pre-placement inquiry known as the “home study”. This is an evaluation, required by law, of prospective adoptive families and of the physical and emotional environment into which a child would be placed. It consists of a series of interviews with a social worker, including at least one in the home. Many of the questions asked in a home study are personal. Some questions are about income, assets, health, stability of the marriage (if married) and family relationships. Physical exams to ensure prospective parents are healthy are required. The social worker who prepares your home study will need to ask you for certain documents such as birth certificates, marriage license, child abuse and felony conviction clearances and personal references before finalizing the report. This is to ensure that you and your family are prepared to have a child in your home and that you are ready to parent. A home study is usually completed within a few months.