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Written by Nancy S
on September 20, 2023

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So you have decided to pursue adoption to complete your family.  You have chosen an authorized adoption agency in New York State (e.g. Family Connections, Inc.) and you are ready to begin the paper work necessary to complete your home study and become an approved adoptive parent.  One important step in this process is providing your home study agency with the necessary information to obtain your criminal history background review and your child abuse and maltreatment history clearance.  Understanding the following steps will help you and your home study agency to successfully acquire the needed clearances for your home study.

 

Criminal History Background Review

  • All New York State residents wanting to become approved as adoptive parents and all adult household members must comply with criminal history background review requirements as set by the New York State Office of Children and Family Services.
  • You and all adult household members will need to be fingerprinted electronically. Your agency can provide you with the forms and information to schedule your appointment to be fingerprinted.
  • Your fingerprints will be submitted to the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The results of this search will be sent to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services who after review will send results to your agency.
  • You and any adult household members will also need to obtain a criminal clearance from each foreign country you have lived in since the age of 18 years.  Information on how to request a criminal clearance can usually be found by contacting the Embassy for that country.
  • Electronic fingerprinting in New York State is provided at no cost to prospective adoptive parents and adult household members.
  • All prospective adoptive parents and adult household members will sign a "Sworn Statement of Criminal History" that will state whether or not you have been arrested/convicted/charged of any crime.

 

Child Abuse and Maltreatment History Information

  • Your home study agency will have you and any adult household members sign a “Release of Information Agreement”, allowing them to obtain child abuse clearance information from each state you have resided in since the age of 18 years.  This form gives your consent for your clearance results to be released to the authorized adoption agency providing your home study services.
  • You will need to provide your home study agency with complete addresses for every state and country you have resided in since your 18th birthday.  You will need to provide complete address information, including street address, state, zip code and the month/year date that you moved into and out of this address. You will also need to provide your full name, date of birth, maiden name, any aliases, or previously married names. New York State requires 28 years of address history information even if you were a child at that time.
  • If you have resided in a state other than New York, your agency should be able to help you with the necessary forms to get the required clearances from these states.  Some forms will be completed and signed by the agency and others may require you to complete and submit them.  There may also be fees charged by the other states to provide the clearances.
  • You will also need to obtain child abuse clearances from any foreign country you have resided in. Information on how to request a child abuse clearance can usually be found by contacting the Embassy for that country.

Providing your home study agency with complete and accurate information will help make the clearance process easier.  Remember to return any required forms and information quickly, some clearances can take several weeks, even months, to complete.  For more information on the services provided by Family Connections, Inc. you can click on the link below to schedule a free consultation to explore your adoption options or learn more about our home study services.

 

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Family Connections, Inc. is an authorized New York State Adoption Agency that is also Hague accredited. Our agency provides home study investigation services, primary provider services and post placement supervision for families looking to adopt.  We would be honored to support your family's adoption plan. Please contact us at 607-756-6574 or info@adoptfamilyconnections.org.

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