If your adoption is not a relative adoption which means within three degrees of relation, a step-parent adoption or an adult adoption, then you will require a home study. A home study can be obtained from any licensed home study agency. The agency will assess your home and your fitness to be a parent. This fitness test includes a criminal background check, questions about your childhood and your outlook on parenting.
After the Home Study
If you aren't already paired with a child, an adoption agency can pair you with a child. Once you are paired with a child, the natural parents will execute consents for adoption which will lead to a termination of parental rights hearing. After the termination of parental rights is granted, you may adopt. Keep in mind that two post placement reports are needed after the child is placed with you and before finalization. The adoption time frame is usually 3-6 months depending on individual circumstances.