To be found eligible to adopt a child abroad and bring the child into the United States, you must also submit a home study with your application. A home study is a review of you, your family and your home environment. It assists U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), as well as a foreign country's adoption authority, in determining whether you and your home environment would be suitable for a child.
Home study preparation requirements vary. Each state has different rules that apply to home study preparers. There are also differences between home studies prepared for Convention adoptions and non-Hague Convention adoptions. If you intend to adopt from a country party to the Hague Adoption Convention, you must choose the country before the home study is conducted. In non-Convention adoptions, you may complete the home study before choosing a country. Additionally, home studies for Hague Convention Adoptions must be submitted to USCIS with Form I-800A. For non-Hague Convention adoptions, prospective adoptive parents may submit the home study within a year of filing the I-600A.
Home studies must generally include the following:
Home studies prepared for adoptions from countries party to the Hague Adoption Convention must also comply with federal regulations (8 CFR 204.311) that have been written to ensure that the United States complies with the principles of the Convention. These regulations are designed to make sure that the home study is conducted professionally and that it is transmitted to the proper authorities expeditiously.
Specifically, U.S. regulations for Hague adoptions require that:
Home studies for Hague adoptions must be submitted to USCIS at the same time of filing your I-800A. More information about home studies for Hague adoptions, including information about home study updates and amendments, can be found in USCIS' instructions for filing Form I-800A.
Home studies for non-Hague adoptions must also comply with separate, federal regulations that have been written to ensure that prospective adoptive parent(s) are eligible and suitable to adopt. These regulations are also designed to make sure that the home study is conducted professionally and that it is transmitted to the proper authorities expeditiously.
For more information about the home study requirements for non-Hague adoptions, please visit the Child Welfare Information Gateway.