Once the home study payment is received, we will complete the appropriate assessment. The fee agreement is not based on the outcome of the report or on the conclusion of the adoption. Once the study begins, fees are not refundable.
Can I have my doctor fill out the medical form for my physical from last year?
No, a summary of the medical report for each member of the adoptive family living in the household, within 6 months of the study is required. Again, this verifies that each person has no communicable disease, specific illness, or disabilities that would interfere with the family’s ability to parent a child.
I have a medical condition. Will this prohibit me from getting a home study?
Medical conditions are evaluated on a case-by-case basis. Most medical conditions are not prohibitive for adoptive families as long as you are under a physician's care. A current physician's health form is a required supporting document. This informs us of any medical conditions that you may have and asks your Doctor if you have any medical or psychiatric problems that could affect your ability to be an adoptive parent. A physician's health form also asks the doctor if, based on his or her knowledge, you have a normal life expectancy.
Does a home study expire?
Yes, a home study can expire. Every state determines how long a home study is good for. Regardless of your state's policy on home study updates, your placement agency may have additional requirements. For example, most require home studies be current within one calendar year, meaning that a home study is good for 12 months and then will require an update.
In addition to an annual update to your written home study, there are a few supporting documents that require yearly renewal prior to their date of expiration. Your background clearances (child abuse, FBI and criminal clearances), physician health reports, tax return, and five updated references must be updated annually. Additionally, an update requires a home visit with individual interviews.
What are reasons that we would need to update our home study prior to its expiration?
A home study update is required in the event of major life changes, such as a change in your employment, a move to a new home, a change in household members, etc. If you are unsure if your home study should be updated, contact us.
WHAT IS AN ADOPTION HOME STUDY?
The home study is a document describing in detail who you are, where you come from, and why you want to adopt. The home study is composed of many items. For example, interviews with the applicants, questionnaires, background checks, reference letters, and many more. The home study is an overview of your life and your home.
HOW LONG WILL A HOME STUDY TAKE?
The home study process consists of waiting for documents to come back. Usually we wait for background checks. It can take a few weeks to a few months depending on how quick the adoptive couple works to get their documents in.
how will our children in the family be involved in the home study?
The social worker will interview the children and ask them questions regarding how they feel about the adoption, what their interests are, how they do in school, and how they are disciplined.
When should we start our home study?
The home study is the first step in the adoption process. If you are ready to begin the adoption process you should begin the home study as soon as possible.
What are post placement reports/visits?
Post placement visits are visits made by the social worker after a child has been placed in the home. These visits are made to determine how you and your child are adjusting. You need to check with your adoption agency on their requirements. Bridgestone Home Study can complete these visits much cheaper than your adoption agency.
Understanding Adoption Tax Credits
What is the adoption tax credit?The Adoption Tax Credit is offered to adoptive parents to offset the expenses of adopting children. Section 36C of the United States Internal Revenue Code offers a credit for “qualified adoption expenses” paid or incurred by taxpayers in the USA. According to the IRS, “Tax benefits for adoption include both a tax credit for qualified adoption expenses paid to adopt an eligible child and an exclusion for employer-provided adoption assistance. For tax years 1997 through 2009, the credit was nonrefundable. For 2010 and 2011, the credit was refundable. For tax year 2012, the credit has reverted to being non-refundable, with a maximum amount (dollar limitation) of $12,650 per child.” The American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 enacted January 2, 2012 permanently extended the adoption tax credit. For 2013 the nonrefundable maximum tax credit per child is $12,970. The credit begin to phase out when modified adjusted gross income (MAGI) exceeds $194,580 and is eliminated when MAGI exceeds $234,580. The tax credit is claimed on IRS form 8839 Qualified Adoption Expenses.
How much is the adoption tax credit for, and who qualifies?The Adoption Tax Credit can be taken as a maximum credit of $12,970 to be claimed by parents who finalized their adoption in 2013. Parents whose adjusted gross income is under $182,520 will qualify for the entire amount. Parents whose incomes are between $182,520 and $222,520 will qualify for a partial credit that is prorated. The adoption tax credit is designed to provide financial relief to families once their adoption becomes final in the form of a “credit” and not a “deduction”. For more information visit the IRS website: http://www.irs.gov/Individuals/Adoption-Benefits-FAQs What records do I need to keep in order to provide proper documentation to claim the tax credit?Adopting parents need to ask for and keep all receipts for adoption related services such as: agency fees, attorney fees, homestudy/post adoption report fees, consultation fees, documented birth mother expenses, and travel. If it is a domestic, non-special needs adoption, the credit can be taken the same year the expenses are incurred. What is the difference between a credit and a deduction?A credit is an amount that can be deducted directly from the taxes that you owe. For example, if you paid at least $12,970 to the Federal government in taxes you can get it all back in the form of a credit dollar for dollar. A deduction is taken to reduce the total amount of gross income which reduces the amount of overall taxes that you owe the government. You still take your standard of itemized deductions in addition to the tax credit. Can I still qualify for the credit if I have a failed adoption or my adoption doesn’t finalize?Adopting parents can take the credit even if the adoption does not follow all the day through to a finalized placement if your adoption attempt was a domestic adoption. Can I claim my adoption tax credit prior to finalization?Yes. The IRS has now made it possible for families adopting domestically to claim the tax credit once your child is received and in your home but prior to the finalization of the adoption. For example, let’s say that you received your child in the month of October but are not scheduled to finalize your adoption until the next tax year. You can still take your tax credit in the year that you received your child by filling out form W-7A “Application for Taxpayer Identification Number for Pending U.S. Adoptions”. This will assign your child a temporary ID number in lieu of the social security number that is normally required when claiming dependent children. You can download this form from the IRS website here. Can I also claim the child tax credit?Yes. The adoption tax credit is separate and in addition to the child tax credit. ***Always remember to contact your tax professional to ensure that you qualify for the Adoption Tax Credit. IRS Adoption Tax Credit Information is available at: http://www.irs.gov/taxtopics/tc607.html or take the “Understanding the Adoption Tax Credit” class at adoptionlearningpartners.org
What are parent requirements for adoption
At least 21 years of age.
Couples must be married for a minimum of two years
Be in good physical health and free from communicable disease.
The use of tobacco products is absolutely prohibited.
Families must have adequate income for the addition of an adopted child.
Have a home large enough to accommodate an additional child with generally no more than two children in each bedroom.
Provide a childcare plan if both parents work outside the home
Do I need to own a home to adopt?
You do not need to own a home to adopt. What is important is that you are financially able to support the child and are loving parents.
Can i move during the adoption process?
You can move but would need to schedule another home visit.
what are the requirements for adults in the home?
All adults in the household must complete the state background check, Adam Walsh (child abuse) and may also need to obtain Federal Bureau of Investigation. They also will need to get a medical check as well.