Completing your home study is the first step to becoming an active, adoptive family. We know that this can feel like a huge weight off your shoulders and that you’re looking forward to moving on toward the next step of your adoption.

However, there is one thing that you’ll need to keep in mind: what to do when it’s time to update your home study.

Keeping your home study updated is one of the most important tasks for an active adoptive family. This step will ensure that, should an adoption opportunity arise, you can move forward with no delay.

If you haven’t needed to update your home study yet, but you’re anxious about what that process looks like, don’t worry — we’ve got you covered. We’ll walk you through everything you need to know. Here, learn more about what to expect when it comes to updating your home study.

Why Do We Need to Update Our Home Study?

The home study is one of the most important components of becoming an adoptive family. Unfortunately, some important pieces of your home study won’t last forever.

Keeping your documents updated ensures that you won’t have to start from square one all over again. This makes the process easier on you and easier on your home study agency.

If you receive an adoption opportunity, you will need a valid home study at the time of placement to ensure that your family is screened and safe for a child placement. You don’t want the excitement of your adoption opportunity to be ruined by the fact that your home study is out of date.

It’s an adoption professional’s job to make sure all parties are still ready to go before an opportunity presents itself.

When Will I Need to Update My Adoption Home Study?

While the requirements will vary for each state, your home study should be updated at least once a year. Some states are stricter and others are more lenient when it comes to updating a home study. Your home study professional will let you know what’s needed for your state.

Other than the yearly expiration, there are a few situations in which your home study will need to be updated.

  • Your reference letters are outdated.
  • You’ve had a major life change (a new job, a move, etc.).
  • Your home study will expire before placement occurs.
  • Your background checks and clearances are expiring.
  • Your physician’s report is outdated.
  • You need to update your tax returns.

If you know that one of your documents is close to expiring, please contact your professional as soon as possible to make sure your update is completed in a timely manner.

How Does American Adoptions Stay Up to Date with My Home Study?

If American Adoptions was your original home study provider, we can do most of the legwork for you. You won’t have to worry about providing a bunch of new information.

To avoid the risk of your home study expiring, you should plan on contacting us around the 10-month mark to get started as soon as possible. If there’s anything that’s changed about your situation, or if you know what forms need to be updated, you can let us know. We’ll take it from there.

What if I Didn’t Work with American Adoptions?

If you live in a state we’re licensed in, but you didn’t complete your original home study with us, we can still help.

Thankfully, you don’t have to worry about updating your adoption home study on your own. You can reach out to your home study specialist directly when you’re ready to make changes to your forms. The sooner you contact your agency to make changes, the sooner you can move forward with your adoption. It might take some more time to get the necessary information, but after that we’ll move forward like we would with a normal home study.

To learn more about working with our home study specialists, start here.

What’s Next for Us?

Even after you’ve already been through it, the home study process is still known for being lengthy and complicated. It’s normal to have questions, so don’t be afraid to ask them.

If you have any other questions about how to update your home study or how to start the process with American Adoptions, please give us a call at 1-800-ADOPTION or request free information here.

You can also learn more about updating your home study