Policy Statement: P-ECC-R&P-05
A home study update is a review of a previously completed home study to assure compliance with 102 CMR 5.10 (4) and (5), and to either verify that the information contained in the original home study remains valid and current, or to update the information as appropriate.
102 CMR 5.10(5)(e) & (f) provide that a licensee may update an adoption home study in the following circumstances:
- If the prospective adoptive parents transfer from another Massachusetts agency and provide a home study from that agency which was approved less than twelve months earlier;
- If a prospective adoptive parent client relocates to Massachusetts from another state and provides a home study approved less than twelve months earlier in the other state;
- If a placement does not occur within twelve (12) months of the approval of the current agency's original home study or most recent home study update.
In addition, in the case of an adoption home study completed in compliance with 102 CMR 5.10(4) and (5 ), and in consideration of an international adoption in conformance with the provisions of the Hague Convention, a home study must be updated if placement does not occur within eighteen (18) months of the approval of the current agency's home study or most recent home study update.
To satisfy the intent of 102 CMR 5.10(5)(e & f), the home study update must include the following:
- review of the earlier home study for compliance with 5.10(4) and (5);
- a visit to the prospective adoptive parents' home;
- interviews which are conducted in person with the prospective adoptive; parent(s) to determine if there have been any changes since the last home study. All contents areas of regulation 102 CMR 5.10(d) 1-14 should be reviewed with the prospective adoptive parents and confirmed or updated. This may require obtaining updated financial documents.
- the completion of new Background Record Checks for all household members;
- additional references, if there have been any major life changes or if the original references are not available;
- a statement from a medical professional that there have been no significant medical changes for all of the household members. A new physical examination form will not be required if one has been completed within the last 12 months.
The home study update must document that a review of the current home study was completed, when and by whom. Any information that has been verified, changed or updated must be noted. This review must be written on agency letterhead and indicate the previous recommendation for placement as well as the current recommendation for placement. The written report must be signed and dated. A copy of the updated report must be given to the prospective adoptive parent(s).