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Written by Nancy S
on December 19, 2014

 

adoption   If you are going through the process to become an approved adoptive parent and are beginning the home study process you are probably a little overwhelmed by the paperwork involved and the amount of information that is required.  During the home study process you will need to have clearances from several different sources.  If you are a resident of New York State, you will need child abuse clearances, criminal clearances and a Vulnerable Persons Abuse and Maltreatment Screening.  Each State has it's own regulations on clearances for a home study and there are also regulations set by the Hague Adoption Convention and Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act.   Your home study agency should provide you with the requirements specific to your adoption and the State that you reside in. 

 

Below is an overview of the clearance process in New York State:

 

1.   Criminal History Clearance:

The home study investigator will acquire state and national criminal history reports for each prospective adoptive parent and all other adult household members (e.g. adult children, grandparents).  For prospective adoptive parents planning to adopt domestically or internationally, criminal history reports will be obtained from the New York State Office of Children and Families Services (via the New York Division of Criminal Justice and the Federal Bureau of Investigation).  In addition, each prospective adoptive parent and adult household member must sign and have notarized a Sworn Statement of Criminal History disclosing any incidences of criminal activity. 

 

If a prospective adoptive parent or adult household member has a criminal history or is currently under investigation for an alleged crime, the home study provider agency shall determine on the basis of the information it has available whether to approve or reject the individual as an adoptive parent.  If the agency disapproves the individual(s) as an adoptive parent(s), giving the individual’s criminal history as a reason, the individual shall be informed of his/her right to a fair hearing.  Such fair hearing would be for the purpose of deciding whether the indicated report is sustained by a fair preponderance of the evidence and, if so, whether such person has been rehabilitated so that the health, safety, and welfare of a child will not be endangered if such person's application for adoption is approved.

 

In New York State, any individual who has been convicted of crimes involving violence, or endangering the welfare of a child are automatically disqualified as an adoptive parent.

 

Important Note:  Pursuant to New York State adoption law, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services requirements, the Hague Convention on the Protection of Children and Cooperation in Respect of Intercountry Adoption and the federal Intercountry Adoption Act of 2000, applicants who wish to become adoptive parents and all adult household members (older than 18 years) in a prospective adoptive home must agree to disclose with candor and honesty all information pertinent to their adoption and personal history as required for their approval as adoptive parents. Adoptive parent applicants and any adult members of the household have a duty of candor and must: give true and complete information to the home study provider; disclose any arrest, conviction, or other adverse criminal history in the U.S. or abroad, even if the record has been expunged, sealed, pardoned, or the subject of any other amelioration; and disclose other relevant information, such as physical, mental or emotional health issues or behavioral issues.

 

2.  Child Abuse Clearances: 

Each prospective adoptive parent will need to have child abuse clearances from every state where they have lived in the past 5 years if they are adopting domestically or internationally from a Non-Hague Convention country.  If they are adopting internationally from a Hague Convention country they will need a clearance from every state and country they have resided in since they were 18 years old.  This includes any adult household members who live in the home.  Each state has a different process and your adoption agency will provide you with the necessary forms to complete each clearance.  You will need to provide addresses for the past 28 years if you are obtaining a clearance through New York State.  Each prospective adoptive parent will also need child abuse clearances from any international country that they have resided in since they were 18 years old.

If the prospective adoptive parent(s) and/or adult household member has been or is currently the subject of an indicated (aka founded) child abuse and maltreatment report, the home study provider agency shall determine on the basis of the information it has available whether to approve or reject the individual as an adoptive parent.  If the agency disapproves the individual(s) as an adoptive parent(s), giving the indicated child abuse report as a reason, the individual shall be informed of his/her right to a fair hearing.  Such fair hearing would be for the purpose of deciding whether the indicated report is sustained by a fair preponderance of the evidence and, if so, whether such person has been rehabilitated so that the health, safety, and welfare of a child will not be endangered if such person's application for adoption is approved.

 

3.  Vulnerable Persons Abuse and Maltreatment Screening:

Prospective adoptive parents and all adult household members that reside in New York State are also required to be screened through the Vulnerable Persons' Central Register which is administered by the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs.

If a prospective adoptive parent or adult household member has been or is currently found responsible for serious or repeated acts of abuse and neglect in programs subject to the jurisdiction of the New York State Justice Center for the Protection of People with Special Needs, the Agency shall determine on the basis of the information it has available whether to approve or reject the prospective adoptive parent(s).  If the Agency disapproves/rejects the prospective adoptive parent, giving the indicated report as a reason, the prospective adoptive parent shall be informed of his/her right to a fair hearing.  Such fair hearing would be for the purpose of deciding whether the indicated report is sustained by a fair preponderance of the evidence and, if so, whether such person has been rehabilitated so that the health, safety, and welfare of a child will not be endangered if such person's application for adoption is approved.

 

Family Connections, Inc. provides home study services for domestic and international adoption.  Family Connections, Inc. is a New York State authorized adoption agency that is Hague Accredited.  We would be honored to help you realize your adoption plans.  To schedule a free no-obligation consultation or talk with Anita or Renee about domestic or international adoption call 607-756-6574 or 1-800-535-5556. Family Connections, Inc. provides home study and post-adoption supervision for families from Buffalo, Syracuse, Albany, Binghamton and throughout New York State.

 

For more information on the home study process, you can download our Adoption Home Study Guide by clicking on the link below.

 

            Download The Adoption Home Study Guide

 


 

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