Homestudy

West Sands Adoptions is licensed to provide your homestudy services in Utah and/or Nevada. All adoptions require a homestudy. Your homestudy must be completed by a state-licensed agency. Homestudies completed by an independent social worker are not accepted for our programs. If you live in outside of Utah or Nevada, please contact us. We may be able to provide contact information for a homestudy provider we have worked with in your area. You can also find providers in your area at 1-800-homestudy.com

West Sands Adoptions requires homestudy agencies contact us before beginning a homestudy for a our client families. Please send your provider our contact information so that they can contact us. Also, please let us know who you are using so we can follow up. West Sands must review all homestudies completed by outside providers prior to finalization of the report. Our team will review the homestudy to ensure it meets USCIS and country requirements.

The purpose of the homestudy is to make sure your family meets requirements and is prepared for the responsibility of parenting a child from institutionalized care. You will be required to complete extensive background screenings, disclose full background history and you will also have adoptive parent training to complete. Additional training may be required at any time during the adoption process. Your social worker will work with you to determine appropriate requests for age, gender and any potential medical or other needs you would consider for your adoptive child. Although it is important to be honest with yourself, and not try to gain approval for a child that you are not prepared to parent, it is also important to be a little flexible. It is a good idea to make sure your age approval is broad, we will work to match you with a child who is within your family’s requested age range. A family who is approved for 2 children between 0-10 can still request 1 child under 2. If you are matched with a child or sibling group outside of the homestudy approval range you will have to update the homestudy and your immigration paperwork which requires additional time and expense. Ask your social worker to include the broadest age range you feel prepared to accept. Your approval should be in years rather than months, approval 0-4 years rather than 0-48 months. If you were matched with a child even one month outside of the approval, you would have to update your paperwork. If you are considering adopting a child with special needs, take time to reflect on what types of needs your family can handle. Be honest and open with your social worker and caseworker about what types of needs you are looking for. Knowledge is power, never stop researching, educating or considering new health conditions even after your homestudy is approved.

Please also remember that as an adoptive family, you have a “duty to disclose” all background information, including any information regarding financial status, history of arrest, child abuse, alcohol or drug abuse, significant changes in your home or marital relationships, etc., throughout the homestudy process, and until the adoption is complete. Though past history can affect your ability to adopt from specific countries it is important to disclose all information from the beginning. Many past histories can be worked with. Failure to disclose important information may result in a homestudy denial or denial from US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). If your family receives a negative recommendation the chances of later approval can be limited. Our team of professional qualified staff can help answer questions or concerns you have about your past history and that information will be kept confidential.

If you are adopting internationally, an original of your homestudy must go to USCIS with an accompanying I-600A (Non-Hague) or I-800A (Hague). These applications approve you as adoptive parents to adopt a child or children from a specified country and immigrate them to the US. USCIS will make sure your family meets income and other requirements imposed on adoptive families. Our team and sometimes your homestudy provider will work with you on submitting your USCIS application. All of these USCIS applications are currently processed in Missouri. Within about 2 weeks of sending your application, you should receive a receipt from USCIS. Within about 2 weeks after that, you should receive a fingerprint appointment for your local USCIS office. The goal at USCIS is to process all I-171H (approval received from form I-600A) and I-797 (approval received from form I-800A) forms and provide the approvals within 45 days but time frames will vary greatly depending on the case load and holidays. Click here to learn more about the Hague and Non-Hague processes.

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