Update Your Home Study, Crucial to a Successful Adoption

couple traveling  through an airport with their rolling suitcases
John and Janice had decided to adopt their child from China. Since this was an international adoption, there were more rules and regulations to be followed than with a typical domestic adoption. Eighteen months into their adoption home study, they were finally ready to be approved by the authorities in China. They packed their bags, got on an airplane, and went to meet their child.

Once in China, and before they could bring their baby home, there was much more paperwork for John & Janice to complete. They filled out the necessary information, eager to begin their new lives as a family of three.

As the Chinese officials looked over the forms, they discovered a discrepancy that would prevent John & Janice’s adoption from continuing. The couple was in shock as they learned that after nearly two years and an international journey, their entire adoption had come to a halt.

The explanation was surprising.

Two weeks prior to their departure for China, John & Janice had moved into a new home. Because the address they filled out on the forms in China did not match with the address recorded in their home study, John & Janice would not be able to complete their adoption until an addendum was made, and the new home study was approved by the officials.

Caught up in their excitement, John & Janice had neglected to notify their adoption professionals of their move to a new home, a major change in their life. Fortunately, the couple had contracted with a caring and efficient adoption professional, who upon hearing of John & Janice’s situation, immediately went to work creating a home study addendum. The adoption professional spoke with a relative of the couple and arranged to visit and evaluate their new home while they were still in China, waiting.

In the end, John & Janice were finally able to return home to the United States with their new baby. However, if they had only taken the time to update their home study, they would have had far fewer head and heart-aches, and been able to return home to start their new lives much earlier.

John & Janice are a great example of why it’s so important for adopting couples to keep their home study updated. Although John & Janice were adopting internationally, the same sequence of events can be mirrored in a domestic adoption.
Interstate adoptions are extremely common in the United States, and must be approved by the ICPC (Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children) before the adopting family can return home with their new baby. A current home study is required in order for the adoption to be approved.

Is it time to update your home study for adoption?

smiling couple talk with woman as she shows them something on a tablet while giving them home study adoption help
Here are some basic points to keep in mind:

  • It is the responsibility of each adopting family to contact their home study professional whenever there is a change in their life. A few of the changes worth mentioning to your home study provider are a move to a new home, the purchase of a new car, or a change in physical health.
  • Typically, although this may very from state to state, a home study should be updated before the two-year period is over. This will prevent you from having to pay for a completely new home study.
  • Updates, or addendums, to your home study vary in price, depending on the amount of work involved.
  • It is good to update the accompanying reference letters each year.
  • Addendums to your home study do not necessarily have to be completed by the adoption professional that completed your initial home study.

Keeping your home study updated and current is one way you can contribute to a smooth and successful adoption for your family.

You can read more information about the adoption home study here. Please contact your home study provider if there has been any change that should be updated in your home study for adoption. If you are searching for a home study provider, you may contact your adoption coordinator for a referral.

The information in this article was provided by The Family Network, Inc., www.adopt-familynetwork.com, providing domestic and international home study services.

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