Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption - Wyoming

Date: August 2020

Who Must Be Studied

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-104

The petitioners for adoption may be ordered by the court to undergo a home study.

Agency or Person Conducting the Study

Citation: Code of Rules § 049-0001-1

The Department of Family Services shall take applications for adoption services for prospective adoptive families only when ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction or through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) when a child becomes legally available for adoption, is in the custody of the department, and when adoption is in the case plan. All other individuals and families requesting adoptive home study services are to be referred to child-placing agencies or adoption agencies.

Qualifications for Adoptive Parents

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-103; Code of Rules § 049-0001-1

Any adult person who has resided in the State during the 60 days immediately preceding the filing of the petition for adoption and who is determined by the court to be fit and competent to be a parent may adopt in accordance with this act.

In regulation: The department shall evaluate the applicant, including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • The applicant is an adult.
  • The applicant is secure in his or her current status and able to provide for the child.
  • The applicant's health, security, income, and social and emotional ability allow for stable parenting.
  • The applicant's motivation is centered on the best interests of the child.
  • The applicant has handled past concerns, such as divorce, marital conflict, and employment changes, in a constructive manner.
  • The applicant and other members of the applicant's family are open and comfortable with the sharing of adoption and biological background information with the child.

Elements of a Home Study

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-104; Code of Rules § 049-0001-1

Adoption proceedings shall be commenced by a petition filed in district court. An affidavit from each petitioner shall be attached to the petition setting forth the following:

  • Any previous or current diagnosed psychiatric disorders of the petitioner
  • All felony convictions of the petitioner within the preceding 10 years
  • All misdemeanor convictions of the petitioner within the preceding 5 years
  • The current parole or probation status of the petitioner, if any

In regulation: If the department is conducting the adoptive home study, the applicant must provide the following:

  • Names, addresses, age, sex, race and nationality; education, work, and employment records; physical description; verification of marriage(s) and divorce(s); financial statement of assets, liabilities, and income; family members and others living within the home
  • Names and addresses of five references who have known the applicant for a minimum of 2 years
  • A general physical examination, completed within the year
  • Autobiographies of each applicant
  • A statement as to the motivation to adopt and the types of children the applicant would consider
  • Documentation that they are residents of Wyoming

Following the receipt of the aforementioned information, the caseworker shall conduct interviews both at the department field office and the applicant's home to gather the information needed to complete an adoptive home study and to assist in the evaluation of the suitability of placement of a child for adoption in that home. Central registry and fingerprint-based national criminal history record checks shall be completed. Additional information related to the suitability of the applicant for adoption may be required.

Grounds for Withholding Approval

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-111; Code of Rules § 049-0001-1

The adoption petition may be denied if the court finds that the best interests and welfare of the child will be served by such denial.

In regulation: The adoptive home study shall include a recommendation for or against the adoptive placement.

When Studies Must Be Completed

Citation: Code of Rules § 049-0001-1

The study must be completed within a reasonable timeframe.

Postplacement Study Requirements

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 1-22-111

After the petition to adopt has been filed and a hearing held, the court, acting in the best interests and welfare of the child, may make any of the following orders:

  • Enter an interlocutory decree of adoption giving the care and custody of the child to the petitioners pending further order of the court
  • Defer entry of an interlocutory decree of adoption and order the department or a private licensed agency to investigate and report to the court the background of the child and of the petitioners and the medical, social, and psychological backgrounds and statuses of the consenting parent and putative father
  • Enter a final decree of adoption, if the child has resided in the home of the petitioner for 6 months

After a written report of the investigation is filed, the court shall determine if the adoption by the petitioners is in the best interests and welfare of the child and thereupon enter the appropriate order or decree.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 14-5-101

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the ICPC.

The child shall not be sent into the receiving State until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving State notify the sending agency, in writing, that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.

Foster to Adopt Placements

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Links to Resources

State regulations