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Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Please Help! (international adoption question)


Once again I find myself on the edge of a nervous breakdown (well, close anyway!) due to paperwork issues and being unable to find a clear answer to our current situation.

We renewed our fingerprints prior to them expiring, but the consensus was that we did not/could not file for an extension of the I-171H because we had already filed an I-600 in Haiti last September.

Now we face the issue of our homestudy expiring.

It expires October 8, right when I am in Haiti. Lest you think we've been putting this off until the last minute, let me clarify that for quite some time we have been researching how to get this update done since it involves having to fly a US-licensed social worker down to Chile for just this purpose. It has taken awhile to hear back from people and to figure out who is available/willing/qualified to do so.

My question is, do we have to file the updated homestudy before the original expires? Because honestly, I don't know if it is going to happen. And if we don't, how does that affect us? Can we simply submit the new one when it's done? I know that with the original I-600 we could simply provide a letter that the homestudy was in process and would be arriving shortly thereafter.

Please help! I have an e-mail in to our adoption agency; another to the SW who did our original study; and even one to USCIS in Haiti. If you know anything about this, please give me some insight. Thank you!

10 comments:

Jocelyn said...

hi... I adopted my son Isaac from Africa and never had this issue but I know people who did... to be safe you really need to final an update before it expires all together other wise you might have to start the entire paper trail again...

If you can file the updated homestudy before you go... it is better to be safe than sorry.

Kathy C. said...

I do not even have a current homestudy. Ours expires long ago. I haven't redone it because I'm not sure at what point we will actually need it. I didn't need it to file the I 600 in Haiti.

Amanda said...

I'm asking a few friends who have been in long processes themselves.I'll let you know if I hear from them...

Amanda said...

A friend who has done two international adoptions suggested that your previous homestudy might be updated based on a phone conversation with the SW who originally did the study, but that your agency should really be more helpful in getting this done. They should be able to give you the answers you need.

Juli said...

The point at which you'd be asked for the update is in dealing with USCIS. Haiti, as I understand it, will not ask for the updates. Your dealings with USCIS come after passports are issued, to approve your I600 so that visas can be issued. I'm familiar with a family who reached the very end of process and was held up due to a need for an updated homestudy. So, to answer your question based on my understanding of things, you don't have to have it updated by the date it expires. You just need the valid update when USCIS asks (if they ask. we were never asked for our updates). And keep those fingerprints updated, too!

Tracy said...

From what I understand we don't need an updated homestudy until VISA or MOI? Ours expired long ago. My agency said to wait until we are closer to the "end" to file b/c you basically need to submit your updated homestudy near the last stage of the adoption. That is what I understood anyway. I plan on getting ours done once we exit parquet maybe???

kayder1996 said...

I would agree with what Juli said. USCIS will require a valid/current homestudy when it comes time for a visa. But how you choose to go about having a current homestudy at that time is up to you. You can let yours lapse and then as the time gets closer, go back and redo the whole thing. Or you can choose to keep it current by doing an update. New homestudy means starting all over including paying the original price you paid. Updated usually means paying an update fee and having them make changes as needed. (ie if you have had changes in your life like a new job, a new family member, etc.) I also would agree with whomever suggested that it might be able to be done over the phone. Especially since you are in a unique situation as you live in Chile. Updating takes 30 minutes so it might be feasible for it to be done over the phone.

Deborah said...

Praying, my friend! I love you!

sea salt MOSAIC said...

we have been trying to update our HS since May! We stressed about getting it done before it expired and it barely made it to Rome the day before it expired -August 3! (we haven't filed our I600 in Haiti yet - Nov.) Then just two weeks ago we received an email from USCIS Rome that our update was unacceptable and our agency needed to redo it! So, now we are long past expiration and still awaiting info from our agency as to what they're doing about it - something, hopefully! I'll let you know what USCIS Rome has to say about it when we hear anything more. . . from the sounds of it, I wouldn't stress too much. It's something we did stress about and shouldn't have. It's something that's almost completely out of your own hands -just trust God's timing. - reminded to do so from experience! although I know the battle of concern- I am finding it difficult not to stress about needing the update in Nov to file our I600!

Shane,Mel,Jac,Finn,Van, Mia said...

Our agency also said we can do an over the phone update ($250). We have filed our I600 in Haiti as well though. I was just wondering this same thing. Let me know what you hear from USCIS. I have asked questions to this address and always get a prompt response. You might want to try SPMAdoption@dhs.gov.
They soetimes send you Frequently asked questions for you to read through, but then will answer your question a couple days later.