WHAT IS A HOME STUDY?
The Adoption Home Study is a legal document written by a Licensed Social Worker that specializes in adoption work and is qualified and knowledgeable about domestic and foreign adoptions. I am experienced in writing well-documented reports that I ensure will meet the standards of the New York State Courts, USCIS and your placement agency, as well as the country from which you may choose to adopt from. The home study is meant to be an accurate true reflection of who you are and is used to provide a narrative about your ability to provide a suitable home for a child. It will explain why and how you are qualified to be an adoptive mother or father. It will include an assessment of your capacity to love and nurture a child brought into your family via adoption and how you will provide the child with emotional and financial support. The Adoption Home Study is a requirement for all families who want to adopt in the United States whether they want to adopt domestically or internationally.
The Adoption Home Study Visit:
This is the first step on the road to completing your forever family. A home visit is always part of the adoption home study process in order to ensure that your home is safe and appropriate for a child. This is where we will meet together in your home in order to gather information and answer questions to be able to write a report that describes your family, educational and employment histories, as well as your current family lifestyle. I will explore your decision to adopt, your expectations of the adoption process and your experiences and attitudes about adoption, type of child desired with regard to race and culture and views and values on parenting. The written Home Study report is based on information gathered during this home visit, our individual and joint interviews with all household members where we discuss the potential ups and downs of the adoption journey or ‘roller coaster ride’, the financial, emotional and social implications on family relationships and the health and adjustment issues that the child may experience when joining their new family. I will also review the additional verification documents, including medical clearance letters, reference letters from non-relatives, financial, child abuse and criminal history reports, which all get incorporated into the written Home Study report. The number of interviews and length of interviewing time will vary from family to family and according to various state/county or international requirements. Remember the Home Study experience should be an interactive, educational experience that allows for me to get to know you, for you to get to know more about yourselves and for you to reflect on your journey to parenthood. I will also suggest reading materials, online courses, local support groups and other resources to help you prepare for a positive experience upon your child’s arrival.
What Happens Next? Once the Home Study is completed, I submit the Home Study to your attorney and/or agency, the local Court for Pre-Certification purposes and provide you with an original copy for you to submit to U.S.C.I.S. for International adoptions if applicable and provide an additional one for your files. The Home Study is a prerequisite for New York State Pre-Certification for Domestic adoptions and for U.S.C.I.S. (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) for International Hague and Non-Hague adoption approval. My Adoption Home Study reports, whether they be independent domestic, agency affiliated domestic or agency international reports, all meet the necessary requirements of and are accepted by the local Family and Surrogate Court systems of all Five Boroughs and Long Island, U.S.C.I.S. and I.C.P.C. (Interstate Compact for Placement of Children). I am New York State Agency Affiliated and can ‘convert’ your ‘independent’ domestic Home Study to an ‘agency’ Home Study, should this be necessary after it is completed and am able to provide Agency Supervised Post Placement and Post Adoption supervision should this be required.
Types of Home Studies:
Domestic Independent Adoption: A private adoption where the prospective adoptive parent(s) search for a birth parent who wants to make an adoption plan for their child. This happens through networking, using a toll-free telephone number and multi-media advertising, along with the help of an attorney. This type of home study is completed through the precertification process in the courts or by using an agency home study.
Domestic Agency Adoption: You hire an agency that in turn locates a birth parent and shows your profile to the birth parent. The birth parent then selects you to make an adoption plan for their child.
International Adoption: Adopting a child from another country after having been approved by USCIS and the placing country and matched with a child available for adoption and that meets the criteria as an orphan. This involves one or more trips to the country.
LGBT-Q Adoption: Adopting a child where one (if single) or both (if a couple) prospective adoptive parent(s) are the same gender. Internationally, some counties may not knowingly place a child for adoption in an openly gay family. Domestically, most states do not discriminate based on ones sexual orientation; however some states are more LGBT ‘cooperative or friendly.’
Second Parent Adoption: When one parent is the biological parent and you want your child to be adopted by your partner or non-biological spouse in order for them to become their legal parent as well.
Step-Parent Adoption: One parent is the biological parent of a child from a previous relationship and you would like the step-parent to adopt your child and become their legal parent. Child’s biological parent has signed consents to the adoption.
Re-Adoption: You have adopted your child internationally and now choose to re-adopt them here in the United States, so you can have a New York State birth certificate in English and one that looks like everyone elses. No more worries about loosing the one original birth certificate or having to use a translated birth certificate again.