Navigating the Adoption Home Study in New Hampshire
Every adoptive family considering adoption in New Hampshire must first be approved for adoption by a New Hampshire-licensed home study provider, regardless of the type of adoption or the adoption professional that you choose.
The home study for adoption in New Hampshire can seem intimidating to prospective adoptive families who’ve heard about the large amounts of paperwork and lengthy processing wait times. It may be one of the longest stages of the adoption process, but it’s not as painful as it might seem.
Home studies are done to ensure that children are placed in safe, stable and prepared homes. The adoption home study in New Hampshire also confirms your financial, mental and emotional readiness to adopt a child.
We encourage you to contact us online or call 1-800-ADOPTION to get more information on the home study process.
The New Hampshire home study for adoption includes two main parts:
Here’s how to prepare for your NH adoption home study:
Required New Hampshire Home Study Documentation
This stage of the NH adoption home study process is often the most time-consuming. The best thing that you can do is to have all the necessary documentation organized and ready to go because it often needs to be processed by several different state or federal departments.
These documents include:
Your birth and marriage certificates, Social Security cards, driver’s licenses, vaccination records for pets and more
Updated health and financial records
FBI fingerprint screening, background checks, abuse clearances and more
At least five written personal references to act as your reference letter for adoption
Separate autobiographical letters that explain why you wish to adopt a child
In the state of New Hampshire, your adoption home study may be denied if one or both of the prospective adoptive parents has any history of child abuse or neglect within their background check.
Preparing for In-Home Visits
Your New Hampshire home study adoption professional will tour your home with you as well as interview you and your family.
The home tour checks to see that you’ve taken some basic child safety precautions in your home, like:
Gating off stairways
Fencing off pools or ponds
Covering electrical outlets
Installing working smoke and CO2 detectors throughout your home
Storing toxic substances like medicines, chemicals and cleaning supplies out of a child’s reach
Family interviews involve your home study professional talking with you and each member of your household about topics like your feelings towards adoption, your parenting philosophies, your own childhood, your family relationships and more. This will give your home study provider a better idea of your personality as well as where you’re at in your emotional journey to adoption.
When to Update Your New Hampshire Adoption Home Study
Once completed, a home study in New Hampshire remains valid for up to one year. If you haven’t been placed with a child within that year, you’ll have to update the home study prior to its expiration date.
You’ll also need to update your home study anytime you experience a relatively big change in your life, such as moving into a new home or experiencing a career shift. The individual documents within your home study may also need updating as they expire at different rates, so taking notes of when each component expires when you first submit your home study can help prevent potential slowdowns in your NH adoption home study process.
After you’ve been placed with a child, you’ll need to complete a number of post-placement home study requirements up until your finalization hearing, including visits with your home study provider every two months until finalization. These visits will begin within three weeks of placement and at least two of those visits must take place in your home.
The New Hampshire Adoption Home Study Checklist
There are several other things you’ll need to complete a home study for adoption in New Hampshire in addition to submitting the required documents, taking an adoption training course and making safety improvements to your home.
To learn more about adopting a child in New Hampshire, call us at 1-800-ADOPTION or reach out to one of our professionals online today. To view a comprehensive New Hampshire adoption home study checklist and learn how to begin the home study for adoption today, contact your adoption home study professional.
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