No matter what stage you’re at in your adoption process, a move to a new home can feel like a huge wrench has been thrown in your plans. Everything probably feels a little stressful right now, but American Adoptions is here to help you handle it.

Moving mid-adoption process (or even after an adoption) isn’t the end of the world. But it does mean that you have some more work to do in order to keep things flowing.

Here are the five steps you’ll need to take if you’re about to move to a new home:

Step 1. Contact Your American Adoptions Specialist

It’s important to let your American Adoptions specialist know that you’ll be moving as soon as possible for a number of reasons:

  • They’ll be able to walk you through everything you’ll need to do (updating forms, letting prospective birth moms know, any new legal steps you may require, etc.).
  • They’ll need to update your contact information.
  • Prospective birth parents sometimes choose families based on where they live, so they’ll communicate these changes to any pregnant women who have been considering your family.

State adoption laws vary from one state to the next, so your specialist will walk you through that. Let’s talk about that a bit more:

Step 2. Check New State Requirements, If Applicable

If you’re moving to a new state, you’ll probably want to get this ball rolling as soon as possible, because it can affect what you’ll need to do with your home study and other aspects of your adoption process. Every state has their own set of adoption laws and requirements.

If you’ve already met the requirements of your current state, you’ll likely be set in the new one, as well, but you’ll need to double-check, anyway. Additionally, you may now need to complete the ICPC process after you’ve received placement of a child, which occurs in cross-state adoption placements.

Your specialist and attorney will be able to help you make sure that you’ve met any new state-mandated steps and requirements, so ask them for help.

Step 3. If You’re Already Matched, Talk to the Prospective Birth Mom

Again, sometimes pregnant women choose families based on their location. If you’re already matched with a pregnant woman, she may have been excited to choose you because you lived in a certain area, so it’s important to tell her that you’re relocating.

Talk through what moving will mean for your match and how any future moves will affect your open adoption relationship. For example, if you were all hoping to share visits in the years to come, it may now be harder (or easier) to meet up.

If you are moving further away from the woman you’re matched with, that doesn’t mean it’s the end! Most adoption relationships are actually long-distance, and everyone involved is still able to have the relationship they were hoping for.

This just means that you’ll need to fill the prospective birth parent(s) in on the details, and make sure they’re still comfortable moving forward.

Step 4. Update Your Home Study

Any time a waiting adoptive family moves, the home study will need to be updated. You’ll need to have a social worker conduct a home tour in the new space, and you’ll need to file some new paperwork.

As you probably know, home studies can eat up a significant amount of time. Start the process of updating your home study as soon as you can; contact your home study provider to ask about next steps.

You may even learn that you’ll need to switch home study professionals, because your home study provider needs to be licensed in your state. Additionally, some home study providers only work within certain regions of a state.

So, again, contact your home study professional to inform them of your move. If American Adoptions is handling your home study, contact us right away.

Step 5. Update Your Video and Print Profiles

Pregnant women view these profiles to not only get an idea of your personalities and family dynamic, but to also see the home and neighborhood where her child may one day grow up. It’s easier to picture her child in your life if she can see the home you’ll all inhabit.

You probably already know that making your video and print profile can take a surprising amount of time and work! We know you’re busy with the move, but as soon as you can, get some video footage and photos of your new house and neighborhood and send it to your American Adoptions and ShowPro media specialist. You may want to recruit some friends, family or new neighbors to help you out.

Once received, your media specialist will get the new photos and video footage incorporated into your profile as soon as possible, so prospective birth parents can get an up-to-date glimpse at where you’ll be living.

Anticipating a change of address and have some more questions? Reach out to your American Adoptions specialist for help! Don’t worry — your child is out there, and we’ll help you meet them, no matter where you live.