Home Study Update Requirements

How To Get My Home Study Update Done?

A home study update requires you to update some of your documents.  An update is no where near as intense as doing the home study when you did it initially.  But there are certain documents that have be updated.  Let’s take a look below and we’ll tell you about all you have to do, one document at a time. 

Remember, your “Home Study Update” is part of your “Dossier Update”.

To review everything you need for your complete “DOSSIER UPDATE”, please click here. 

Child Abuse Clearances

A home study update only requires that you do child abuse clearances ONLY for the state where you currently reside.  

To get that started please tell your social worker to help you with it.  Remind your social worker that an update only requires the current state of residence. (Not every state where you’ve lived in, as was required for the initial home study). 

FBI Clearances

This may sound hard, but it isn’t because remember, you can use an expeditor who can turn these around in a few days.  You would have to get fingerprinted again, but please get this process started by contacting the expeditor.

The expeditor will tell you where to go get fingerprinted.  Then you’ll mail them the cards, along with their cover letter, their fee of $40, and they’ll turn around the clearances in only a few days.

You’ve done this before, and here is the page you used to do it:


On the link above are listed a couple of expeditors to chose from. Start by calling one of them.

State Police Clearances

This is a clearance that is done only for the state where you currently reside. To get started on this, please contact your home study agency. 

They’ll have the resources locally to tell you how to get this done.  It is likely that you’ll have to get fingerprinted for this separately.  Perhaps it could be done with one visit to the local police station (or other approved fingerprinting location).  You could likely get more fingerprint cards done at the same time.  Some can be for the FBI, some for the police clearance. 

Note: Some states will say that their clearance includes the FBI database. Be that as it may, for our purposes, we need the FBI clearances to be issued on the letterhead of the FBI. The only way to do so is to get the clerance directly through the FBI and not thru any state. 

Employment Letters

Here is a template for this Employment Letter that you can use.

A home study update requires that you show you still have a job. So your employer would need to write a very simple letter that says your position/title at the company, that you are still employed, and your salary.

This letter should be issued on the company’s letterhead. Different employers of different sizes require different people to issue this letter. You know your company better than we do so think of the simplest way to get this done?  Perhaps you contact HR and ask them to do it. Or your direct supervisor can sign it more easily.

This letter needs to be notarized.  If your office doesn’t have a notary, and you don’t have a notary friend, you can go with your supervisor to a local bank. Most banks provide this service for their clients.  UPS also usually has a notary on staff.  If these options don’t work, you can always google “traveling notaries” and hire someone to come to your office.


Medical Forms

For the update, you ONLY need the short, one page form, which was titled “Medical Form (Bulgaria)” in your dossier instructions. 

It is linked here for your convenience.

However, please visit the page that tells you how to get the doctor to fill out this form so that it serves the purpose it is supposed to.  Here is this page with guidelines, screenshots and other advice about how to get this done.  You’ve seen it all before! 

Note: Its not a bad idea to let us review the medicals before you have the doctor sign it and the notary notarize his/her signature. 

ESPECIALLY if anything has changed in your medical history and needs to be described, then I would suggest we should definitely look at it. 

If no changes, the best way to do this is to find the old form and ask your doctor to use it for the write up of your current form. 

Remember: The doctor needs to be an MD or a DO. CANNOT be a nurse, a a PA or NP. 

The notary has to notarize the doctor’s signature at the medical office. 

Most Recent Tax Return

This is super easy. Just give your most recent tax return to your social worker. They’ll need it to fill out financial information in your home study per the guidelines we give them. 

Skype Home Visit

Tell your social worker that a Skype, or any other kind of video chat is accepatable to USCIS and Bulgaria. If the worker wants to do an in person visit, that is ok too, but most workers are ok with doing it online.

However, if you have moved, and are no longer at the residence that the social worker has already visited, then doing it “online” would not be allowed.  If you’ve moved, the worker would have to see your new place. 

The social worker will do the appropirate inteviews with each parent as if though it was in person.

Any Other Changes

This is a home study upate so if there are any other changes in your life that we should know about, please let us know. 

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We also provide other sets of instructions detailing how to fill out other USCIS forms, such as I-800A and I-800A, Supplement 3. 

Other similar instructions include: Dossier Update Requirements, as well as Court Documents.

Instructions for how to fill out he I-800 are also provided by USCIS here.

Continue Your Adoption Research

We are humbled to have over 20 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.

International Adoption Agency has 19 years of experience.