in·dis·pens·able | \ˌin-di-ˈspen(t)-sə-bəl | meaning: not subject to being set aside or neglected; absolutely necessary.
Some folks may think the Alabama football team is indispensable to any National Championship game. Other folks may think it’s Nick Saban. On the other hand, some folks may think Trevor Lawrence is indispensable to a victory in tonight’s game. We will know by the end of the night if Clemson rises or falls.
We can say with more certainty that a home study is indispensable to any adoption, with one caveat – related. In a stepparent, grandparent, uncle, or aunt adoption, no home study is required. In all unrelated adoptions, the court will require a home study.
So, what is a home study? The word “homestudy” is sometimes used with interchangeable meanings. “Homestudy” or “home study” is a word with a background in social work world. In the legal world, “homestudy” could mean either a “pre-placment report” or a “post-placement report.” Whatever the case, the requirements of the investigation are found in Code of Alabama, 26-10A-19, and include:
(1) The suitability of each petitioner, and his, her, or their home for the adoptee;
(2) Why the natural parents, if living, desire to be relieved of the care, support, and guardianship of such minor;
(3) Whether the natural parents have abandoned such minor or are otherwise unsuited to have its custody;
(4) Any orders, judgments, or decrees affecting the adoptee or any children of the petitioner;
(5) Any property owned by the adoptee;
(6) The medical histories, both physical and mental, of the adoptee and the biological parents. This history shall be provided to the petitioner in writing before the decree is entered;
(7) Criminal background investigations;
(8) The costs and expenses connected with the adoption; and
(9) Any other circumstances which may be relevant to the placement of the adoptee with the petitioners.
The purpose of the home study is to give the court a third-party, independent, evaluation of the suitability of the adoptive parents to raise an adopted child.
About the author
Sam and his wife Mary Beth were inspired to establish The Adoption Law Firm during the process of adopting their first son, Robi (read more about their experience on the blog, Go Get Robi).
Sam and Mary Beth were exposed to the great need for loving families to adopt abandoned children at home and around the world. They began to dream of a law center that could zealously advocate for children to be placed in loving homes. Eventually, that dream became a reality.
The Adoption Law Firm exists to zealously advocate for orphaned children to be adopted into loving homes.
Samuel J. McLure, Esq.
- Thomas Goode Jones School of Law
J.D., Cum Laude
- Huntingdon College
B.A. Business Administration – International Business
- Alabama Attorney General Candidate (2018 Election Cycle)
- The Adoption Law Firm (2011 – Current)
- Lifeline Children’s Services (2015 – 2016)
Senior Legal Counsel
- Sasser, Sefton, Brown, Tipton, & Davis (Fall 2012)
Law Clerk – Corporate Litigation
- Jones Walker (Summer 2010)
Law Clerk – Banking & Finance
- Supreme Court of Alabama (Spring 2010)
Law Clerk Externship – Justice Smith
- Prof. Matt Vega – Jones School of Law (Fall 2009 – Spring 2010)
Research Assistant – Alien Tort Statute
- Office of the Attorney General of Alabama (Summer 2009)
Law Clerk Internship – White Collar Crime Division
- Alabama’s Political Candidates and Their Capacity to Care For Orphans, Alabama Political Reporter (April 25, 2017).
- The End of Orphan Care, Archdeacon Books (June 8, 2016).
- Absent Biological Fathers in Adoption: Noticing the Nuance of Notice, Faulkner Law Review, Vol. 6, Issue 2, pg. 305 (Spring 2015).
- Conviction and Contentment: Surveying Alabama’s Strategies to Care for Abused and Neglected Children, Alabama Today (May 22, 2015).
- State Constitutional Personhood Amendments and the Promotion of Justice in Alabama, Regent Journal of Law & Public Policy, Vol. 4, No. 1 (Spring 2012).
- Embracing Orphan Care & Adoption, River Region’s Journey, at pg. 22 (February 2012).
- What is the Cost of Adoption?, River Region’s Journey, at pg. 26 (February 2012).
- Adoption,Sav-A-Life of Montgomery, Inc., Vol. 26, Issue 11 (November 2011).
The End of Orphan Care, by Sam McLure
The End of Orphan Care, now available through Amazon, is perhaps the most comprehensive work on orphan care, to date.
Samuel E. Upchurch, Jr., Founder and Chairman of the Board Oakworth Capital Bank, states that:
“Sam McLure makes a scholarly case for Christians everywhere to follow the admonitions in James 1:27 to visit the orphans in their afflictions. McLure paints a picture which expands the definition of “orphans” and the meaning of “visit” and calls on the Church to care for the unborn, the fatherless and the at risk youth everywhere. I began reading this book to write an endorsement but, as one with an adopted grandchild, found much historical and theological support for adoption.”