Home Study Requirements for Prospective Parents in Domestic Adoption - Hawaii

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Who Must Be Studied

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 346-19.7

The prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home shall be included in the study.

Agency or Person Conducting the Study

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 346-19.7

The Department of Human Services is responsible for conducting the study. The department may authorize or contract the home studies of prospective adoptive parents for children under the department's custody to experienced social workers with specialized adoption experience.

Qualifications for Adoptive Parents

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 346-19.7

Any person who seeks to become an adoptive parent, including all adults residing in the prospective adoptive home, shall be subject to the following:

  • Meet all standards and requirements established by the department
  • Be subject to criminal history record checks and child abuse and neglect registry checks

Elements of a Home Study

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 346-19.7

The department shall develop standards to ensure the reputable and responsible character of prospective adoptive parents as defined in this chapter.

The department shall develop procedures for obtaining verifiable information regarding the criminal history and child abuse and neglect registry information of persons who are seeking to become adoptive parents. The department or its designee shall obtain criminal history record information through the Hawaii criminal justice data center and child abuse record information from the department in accordance with departmental procedures.

Grounds for Withholding Approval

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 346-19.7

The department may deny a person's application to adopt a child if either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home was convicted of an offense for which incarceration is a sentencing option and if the department finds by reason of the nature and circumstances of the crime that either of the prospective adoptive parents, or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home, poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of the child.

The department may deny a person's application to adopt a child if either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home has a history of confirmed child abuse or neglect, or both, revealed by the child abuse and neglect registry check and if the department finds by reason of the nature and circumstances of the abuse or neglect, or both, that either of the prospective adoptive parents or any adult residing in the prospective adoptive home poses a risk to the health, safety, or well-being of the child.

When Studies Must Be Completed

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-8

The court may enter a decree of adoption if it is satisfied that the petitioners are fit and proper persons, that they are financially able to give the individual a proper home and education, and that the adoption will be for the best interests of the child.

Postplacement Study Requirements

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 578-9

During the period, if any, between the entry of the adoption decree and the effective date of adoption, the decree may provide for the supervision and visitation of the minor child by the director of human services or the director's agent during that period and for any reports in connection with that supervision as the court may require.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Requirements for Interjurisdictional Placements

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 350E-1

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

The child shall not be sent into the receiving State until the appropriate public authorities in the receiving State notify the sending agency, in writing, that the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.

Foster to Adopt Placements

This issue is not addressed in the statutes and regulations reviewed.

Links to Resources

State regulations (see § 17-1610-43, Adoption Services)