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International Adoption Home Study

The international adoption home study is a part of the international adoption process that most people fear more than they should. Granted, the prospect of someone coming into your home for the purpose of determining whether you are qualified to raise a child may seem a bit intimidating, but as long as you have a normal, reasonably safe home, you have nothing to fear.

Why is it Necessary?

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, also known as the USCIS, requires you to have a home study done before you can bring an orphan into the United States. You must either submit your home study along with your form I-600A or have it completed within one year of submitting the form.

Who Can Prepare an International Adoption Home Study

You will need someone who has a license to prepare home studies from the state in which you reside. The person can either be with an adoption agency or licensed as an independent home study provider.

If You Live Abroad

You can either hire someone licensed in the country in which you reside or anyone licensed by any state in the United States. If you do live abroad, your international adoption home study must be reviewed and favorably recommended by either a public adoption agency in the U.S. or a private agency licensed by the U.S. to place children for adoption.

What it Must Contain

Your international adoption home study, must include all of the following:

Home Visit and Personal Interview

The person who prepares the home study must come to your home and conduct a personal interview with you.

Assessment of Your Ability to Parent

The international adoption home study provider must provide his or her assessment of whether you are physically, mentally and emotionally capable of raising a child. He must also determine whether you are financially able to support the child you wish to adopt.

It is also the home study provider's job to determine whether there is a history of abuse or violence in your past, whether you have been previously rejected for adoption and/or whether you have a criminal history.

Assessment of Your Home

The international adoption home study must also assess whether your home is a safe place for a child to live. In addition, it must state whether you are capable of handling a handicapped or special needs orphan.

The home study must also provide a summary of whatever counseling is given and provide a plan for post placement counseling.

And finally, the home study provider must state whether he or she specifically approves the prospective parent for adoption and provide his certification and statement of authority to conduct a home study.

Be Honest

Be sure to be completely honest with your home study provider and disclose any past arrests, however, trivial. One adoptive father I know had been arrested for trespassing in an alley when he was at college more than 20 years earlier. He didn't think the arrest was important and failed to mention it in his home study. He was later called in by the USCIS office, and his adoption was delayed for several weeks as a result.

It may not seem important to you, but the folks in the USCIS office take any arrest seriously. And by the way, just because you have been arrested doesn't mean you won't be approved for an adoption. But concealing such an arrest could disqualify you from being able to adopt, so be sure to come clean.

More Helpful Information about Preparing Your Dossier

Do you want to adopt, but feel overwhelmed by the high costs of adoption? You're not alone. Many couples are reluctant to adopt because of the costs, but you can bring your child home without going into debt. Learn more.

Don't let the phrase adoption dossier intimidate you. "Dossier" simply means all the paperwork required by the country from which you plan to adopt your child. Learn more.

Your International Adoption Home Study may seem like an intimidating part of your international adoption journey, but it's not nearly as bad as you may think. Learn more about what it entails by clicking here.

Return from International Adoption Home Study to the Home Page.

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