Some couples are unable to have children of their own, choosing to adopt child(ren).  Others have natural child(ren) but, for a variety of reasons, decide to adopt or take foster children into their home.  In both cases, the agencies involved with the adoption or foster care typically require a psychological evaluation.  This is different than a home study.  The latter typically involves a social worker inspecting the home and asking questions that relate to typical home life.  The psychological evaluation focuses on potential underlying psychopathology that might exist in either of the future parents (or the couple as a family system).  Additionally, the quality of the marital relationship, intended child rearing practices, and motivations for adoption is explored.

Similar to adoption evaluations, agencies often require a psychological evaluation prior to various fertilization procedures.  The protocol for these psychological evaluations are very similar to the adoption evaluation.  Both cases typically involve a clinical interview with each individual, the couple together, psychological testing, record review, and—in some cases—collateral contacts.  The overriding focus of the adoption and fertilization evaluations are the perceived best interests of the possible child(ren) whom the parents would rear.