Homestudy Preparation Tips
There are several paperwork requirements during the home study, and some may take awhile to process. The following are things you can do to get ready for the home study process:
1 ★ Order certified copies of birth certificates, marriage license, and divorce decree
It can take awhile for these certified documents to arrive, so having them before you start the home study process will expedite things. All household members (children and adults) are required to submit birth certificates. Even if you don’t start your adoption journey for a while, it doesn’t hurt to have extra copies of birth certificates at home.
2 ★ Schedule a physical with your doctor
Adoption STAR will provide a Medical Form for each household member’s physician to complete. It is not uncommon see appointments needing to be made weeks out. If you know you will be starting the adoption process soon, scheduling a doctor’s appointment will reduce future stress.
3 ★ Identify who your references will be
Adoption STAR will provide four non-family and one family reference a form to complete and send back to us during the home study process. The turnaround time for completed references to come in often hold up the paperwork process for our families. We suggest reaching out to those you would like to be references and ask that when they receive a form from Adoption STAR, they complete it and return it in a timely manner.
4 ★ Research the addresses you have lived at
For anyone in New York State, you will thank yourself for having done this when your home study begins. The form required for New York State agencies to complete child abuse clearances involves listing addresses anyone 18+ years of age in the home have lived in for the past 28 years. Dorms and student housing do not count, as permanent addresses are required.
5 ★ Gather most recent 1040 and W-2
Adoption STAR requires proof of income and current employment status. For those who do not receive a W-2, paystubs (will need to be recent paystubs at the time of submission), Schedule C, or similar items will suffice.
6 ★ Identify photos for your profile book
Those pursuing a domestic adoption will be creating a profile book prior to home study completion. Now is a great time to start collecting photos you may want to display in that book. Photos of you, family, friends, hobbies, travel, wedding, etc. If you do not have many pictures of yourselves, start taking them!
Being proactive will make the home study process go more smoothly for you, and we are happy to help motivate you!