Immigration Lawyer Explains Background Checks and Intercountry Adoption

Anyone wanting to adopt a foreign born child will go through an array of investigative processes, including a home study and background check. As an immigration attorney, I find that often people know little to nothing about the background check and how it works. In this blog, I’m going to consider what you should expect when undergoing a background check.

Hague Adoption
In a Hague Adoption the home study preparer is charged with reviewing child abuse registries in all states and foreign countries that each adult has resided in since his/her 18th birthday. They will check on any and all adults in the household, including you and your spouse.

There are four different situations that will define how the home study preparer will approach the investigation of any potential child abuse. If they are searching a foreign country or state that allows access to records, they will simply check for records. But some countries and states require permission from the person being reviewed and others will only release the information to the person being investigated.

If they need to get permission from you or other adults, the preparer will do so and then gain access to the records. If the country will only release information to the adult being queried, then that adult must secure the results and turn them over to the home study preparer. If the state or country will not release such information, then the person in charge of the home study will note that fact in their report.

Orphan Adoption
In Orphan Adoption, the preparer will check for violent and abusive behavior in which any adult in the household, including you and your spouse, may have been engaged. They will run a search in whatever state or country you are currently residing. The same process in terms of allowed, permission and individual release of information is followed.

Fingerprint Search
There will also be check of criminal records based on your fingerprints. Fingerprint results are good for 15 months. After 15 months, the print results are considered expired and another search must be done.

Standard Procedure
Some people react adversely to these searches but in my position as an immigration attorney such searches are standard and necessary to ensure that adopted children are protected. If you have any questions regarding issues relating to background checks, fingerprint and criminal activity checks or intercountry adoption, please feel free to contact the Ranchod Law Group in California. To schedule a consultation you may reach us at 415-986-6186 or at

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