Tuesday, February 28, 2017

What Is An International Adoption Home Study?

When adopting a child, it is normally expected that you will have to undergo a home study as part of the process before you are determined eligible for adopting regardless of what state you live in.Find out more about domestic adoptions and home studies here. However, if you plan to adopt a child from another country, you are required to go through an international home study, but the requirements will differ according to the country you wish to adopt from.

International Adoption Home Study Requirements

If you are adopting from a country that participates in The Hague Adoption Convention, you will need to choose the country before beginning your home study. You must submit your home study to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) via Form I-800A.

Most home studies include:
  • In-person interviews and home visit with all adults of household
  • Evaluation of physical, emotional and mental capabilities of prospective parents 
  • Financial disclosures 
  • Description of living conditions 
  • Description of counseling given to prospective parents 
  • Background check to screen for child abuse, substance abuse, sexual abuse and/or domestic violence for all adult household members 
  • Check for previous adoption rejections 
  • Criminal history for parents and all adults in household

Additionally, adoptions within Hague Adoption Convention countries require compliance with 8 CFR 204.311, which requires that:

  • An approved/accredited adoption service provider conducts an international adoption home study.
  • The provider ensures that the study has been performed according to federal and state law. 
  • The person performing the study is licensed or authorized in the state where the study occurs. 
  • All estimated expenses and fees are disclosed in writing for the home study. 
  • A determination as to whether the prospective parents are suitable for adoption.
Upon completion of the home study, a true copy must be to the intended country's Central Authority.

For non-Hague Convention adoptions, the home study can be started and completed before naming your choice country. You will also be able to submit your home study to the USCIS within one year of filing Form I-600A. Depending on the country, there are various requirements according to individual country's laws that may be required with completing the home study.

To learn more about adoptions, contact our Adoptions From The Heart offices in:

Greensburg, PA (Pittsburgh)
1225 S Main St #207
Greensburg, PA 15601
(724) 853-6533

Philadelphia, PA
30 Hampstead Cir
Wynnewood, PA 19096
(610) 642-7200

Allentown, PA
2212 Union Blvd
Allentown, PA 18109
(610) 432-2384

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