It’s a written report drafted by a licensed professional (most often an LCSW). They will collect a lot of background information about the adoptive family through interviews, requests for criminal histories, abuse & neglect histories, and references. The professional will also include his or her own personal evaluation and instincts. The standard is whether this potential home will be a safe and healthy one for the child, not whether the family is perfect in every way. The report is not meant to arbitrarily disqualify people who want to adopt.
They usually cost about $1,500.00. They are not required for intrafamily adoptions.