Home Studies for Expats
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Home Studies For US Citizens Living Abroad
If you an American citizen, currently residing abroad, and would like to adopt a child from Bulgaria, or Poland, we can help you with your home study, and your entire adoption process from start to finish.
See our Table of Contents Below for More Info.
Estimated Time Until Jennifer Goes to Japan for a Home Study
Frequently Asked Questions Home Studies for Expats
What Are The First Steps for Expats to Take?
The Hague Convention requires that the adoptive parents determine if they are “habitually resident”. Determining this may require asking the foreign country’s Central Authority if they consider the adoptive parents to be “habitually resident” in that country for the purposes of adoption under the Hague process.
Each country may have a different way to determine the habitual residence of the adoptive parents. It is very possible that the US Central Authority may play a role in that determination as well. This may get a little complicated, but we’ve been helping our clients figure it out since 2013, so if you would like to learn more, contact us! Give us a call or text us at 704 527 7673.
Who Decideds if a US Citizen is “Habitually Resident” in that Country?
This determination can be made with the help of that country’s Central Authority and possibly in cooperation with the US Central Authority. Please note that USCIS Regulations permit US citizens residing overseas to be “deemed to be habitually resident in the United States” for the purposes of seeking an immigration benefit for an adopted child. Again, that is something that our experts can help you determine and advise you for your next steps. If you would like to learn more, contact us! Give us a call or text us at 704 527 7673. You could also read more about this at the Department of State’s site here.
Will My Adopted Child Become a US Citizen Upon Finalization of the Adoption?
Yes. We would only accept your case if we are able to help you adopt your child, per the definition described above where our services to you are completed with your adopted child as a US citizen. Since 2013, we have helped many people compete their adoptions this way.
What is CIS’ Role In an Expat Home Study?
USCIS has jursidiction over the home study, the same way it would if the home study was done within the United States. USCIS ensures that the home study meets all the requirements under federal law. USCIS has general Home Study Info here.
What Kind of Home Study Agency Do I Need?
There are some home study agencies and/or social workers who say they specialize in “home studies for expats”.
However, in many cases, these home study agencies who may be licensed to provide home study services, aren’t necessarily also accredited to provide adoption services as required by the Hague definition of being a Primary Provider of Adoption Services.
The technical way of saying this is to say that an agency or person conducting a home study abroad has to be either the Primary Provider or be supervised by a Primary Provider, in accordance with 22CFR 96.2 and 96.14(c).
Will My Process Be Slower Because I am an Expat?
No. Although the legal part is more complicated, that portion is handled by us. Since we know how to do it, we don’t anticipate any delays for you. So you can expect that a home study for expats will take as long as a typical home study.
Will My Process Be More Expensive Because I live Abroad?
Although we charge the same whether you live in the US or abroad, the additional cost for you will be in the expense you will have to fly our social worker to you and pay for her lodging while she is there. Most often Jennifer stays for 3 or 4 days, but that could vary.
Home Studies for Military Families?
We are a military family. Does this apply to us?
Yes, we serve our military families with this process for US expats described above. When you are in the military, it is more clear that you are stationed temporarily. Though it may still require the authorization of the local Central Authority, we have plenty of experience with that. Our social worker Jennifer has done multiple home studies for US Military Families in Germany and England before.
Jennifer was in England, in September 2019, doing a home study for 3 separate military families stationed in England. They were able to share the cost of Jennifer’s flight and lodging.
Our agency has just accepted to help a military family in Japan adopt from Bulgaria. Jennifer will be traveling to Japan soon. If you are stationed (or living) in Japan and thinking about adopting, this may be a good time to share cost on flight and lodging – as Jennifer will be traveling to Japan in 2021.
Nov, 2020 – Searching for Expats in Japan
Happening Now – November, 2020. Our agency has accepted to serve a family who resides in Japan. If you are also in Japan and would like to adopt, you may be able to split the cost of travel with this family. In 2019, we served 3 families in England and they were able to split the travel and lodging cost for our social worker in three.
Our Experience With Military Families
As we’ve mentioned above, we have plenty of good experience serving military families. We’ve truly enjoyed serving military families with their adoptions since 2001 and we’re glad that they have some good things to say about our agency.
Our Experience With US Citizens Living Abroad
Since 2013, we’ve served families all over the globe. In many cases they weren’t military, but just living overseas for different reasons. Below is a video of one of our first families to hire us to take on their case as US citizens living abroad. They completed their adoption from Poland in 2016.
How Much Is a Home Study For US Citizens Living Abroad?
Please see the fee schedule for a home study completed by our agency as an accredited provider of adoption services. Even though the home study process for expats is more complicated, our agency fees do NOT increase.
The additional cost (below) comes from our social worker traveling to your location and being accommodated there. We’ve included some estimates to help you think about what these additional costs may be in your particular case. We also use the Department of State’s “Per Diem Rate Query” to help determine these costs.
|Home Study Fees|
|Application||$200.00||Due w Application|
|Payment 1||$1,350.00||Due w Contract|
|Payment 2||$1,350.00||Due when HS is complete|
Additional Expenses for the Home Studies for Expats
These additional costs are directly payable to our social worker for her direct expenses described above and are due before her travel.
|Additional Fees for Home Studies of Expats|
|Low Estimate||High Estimate|
|Hotel (3 – 4 Nights)||$450||$1,200|
|Food (3 – 4 Nights)||$225||$600|
|Travel in Country||$75||$300|
|Parking in NC||$50||$100|
|Cell Phone Travel Pass||$30||$50|
|Agency uses Department of State “Per Diem Rates”|
Video Highlighting the Process
Continue Your Adoption Research
We are humbled to have over 19 years of experience with Bulgarian and Polish international adoption. Let our experience enrich your research. The answers to these questions about the process are written through experience and know how. Sometimes the answers may surprise you for the better. Text us or call us with any questions. 704 527 7673.