> My name is Rod, both my wife Jen and I are in the early stages of wanting to adopt a girl from china. We hope to contact others about their experiences. I am new to forums, only read them, and never had a reason to ask questions until now. A question that has been weighing on me the last week or so has to do with the criminal back ground check. Sixteen years ago if pleaded guilty to possession of stolen car stereo, which turned out being a misdemeanor. Never had any other problems before or since that time. Ten years ago, I had that incident expunged, never followed up to see if the record was sealed though. Has anyone had a similar situation? Do you think this will affect our chances to adopt? >
> Thanks Rod
Does anyone know for sure what information is involved with the USCIS clearance? Does this involve state, federal criminal background checks as well as driver's records, etc.
Why USCIS Conducts Security Checks
[url=]Understanding the Immigration Security Process - US Department of State[/url]
USCIS conducts security checks for all cases involving a petition or application for an immigration service or benefit. This is done both to enhance national security and ensure the integrity of the immigration process. USCIS is responsible for ensuring that our immigration system is not used as a vehicle to harm our nation or its citizens by screening out people who seek immigration benefits improperly or fraudulently. These security checks have yielded information about applicants involved in violent crimes, sex crimes, crimes against children, drug trafficking and individuals with known links to terrorism. These investigations require time, resources, and patience and USCIS recognizes that the process is slower for some customers than they would like. Because of that, USCIS is working closely with the FBI and other agencies to speed the background check process. However, USCIS will never grant an immigration service or benefit before the required security checks are completed regardless of how long those checks take.
How Immigration Security Checks Work
To ensure that immigration benefits are given only to eligible applicants, USCIS adopted background security check procedures that address a wide range of possible risk factors. Different kinds of applications undergo different levels of scrutiny. USCIS normally uses the following three background check mechanisms but maintains the authority to conduct other background investigations as necessary:
The Interagency Border Inspection System (IBIS) Name Check՗ IBIS is a multi-agency effort with a central system that combines information from multiple agencies, databases and system interfaces to compile data relating to national security risks, public safety issues and other law enforcement concerns. USCIS can quickly check information from these multiple government agencies to determine if the information in the system affects the adjudication of the case. Results of an IBIS check are usually available immediately. In some cases, information found during an IBIS check will require further investigation. The IBIS check is not deemed completed until all eligibility issues arising from the initial system response are resolved.
FBI Fingerprint Check՗FBI fingerprint checks are conducted for many applications. The FBI fingerprint check provides information relating to criminal background within the United States. Generally, the FBI forwards responses to USCIS within 24-48 hours. If there is a record match, the FBI forwards an electronic copy of the criminal history (RAP sheet) to USCIS. At that point, a USCIS adjudicator reviews the information to determine what effect it may have on eligibility for the benefit. Although the vast majority of inquiries yield no record or match, about 10 percent do uncover criminal history (including immigration violations). In cases involving arrests or charges without disposition, USCIS requires the applicant to provide court certified evidence of the disposition. Customers with prior arrests should provide complete information and certified disposition records at the time of filing to avoid adjudication delays or denial resulting from misrepresentation about criminal history. Even expunged or vacated convictions must be reported for immigration purposes.
FBI Name Checks՗FBI name checks are also required for many applications. The FBI name check is totally different from the FBI fingerprint check. The records maintained in the FBI name check process consist of administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel and other files compiled by law enforcement. Initial responses to this check generally take about two weeks. In about 80 percent of the cases, no match is found. Of the remaining 20 percent, most are resolved within six months. Less than one percent of cases subject to an FBI name check remain pending longer than six months. Some of these cases involve complex, highly sensitive information and cannot be resolved quickly. Even after FBI has provided an initial response to USCIS concerning a match, the name check is not complete until full information is obtained and eligibility issues arising from it are resolved.
For most applicants, the process outlined above allows USCIS to quickly determine if there are criminal or security related issues in the applicants background that affect eligibility for immigration benefits. Most cases proceed forward without incident. However, due to both the sheer volume of security checks USCIS conducts, and the need to ensure that each applicant is thoroughly screened, some delays on individual applications are inevitable. Background checks may still be considered pending when either the FBI or relevant agency has not provided the final response to the background check or when the FBI or agency has provided a response, but the response requires further investigation or review by the agency or USCIS. Resolving pending cases is time-consuming and labor-intensive; some cases legitimately take months or even several years to resolve. Every USCIS District Office performs regular reviews of the pending caseload to determine when cases have cleared and are ready to be decided. USCIS does [URL=""]not share information[/URL] about the records match or the nature or status of any investigation with applicants or their representatives.
As part of the [URL=""]adjudication process[/URL], when an applicant/petitioner applies for a USCIS benefit, a background check is conducted on that individual. To facilitate the process and improve efficiency, USCIS developed BCS as a centralized repository that contains the consolidated data on all background check requests and resuls. BCS allows authorized USCIS users to request background checks and access the data stored in BCS during the adjudication procss in order to make an informed decision.
Do police reports show up on USCIS background checks. I had done a state background check, child abuse registry check and a local police clearance done. These checks were done for both of us and the only thing that came up was traffic violations. My concern is the USCIS background check. I've read that this check consists of administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel and other files
compiled by law enforcement. My question: would a police report (with no charges or arrests) definitely show up on this background check? This police report involves both of us and is within the last 1.5 years
Do police reports show up on USCIS background checks. I had done a state background check, child abuse registry check and a local police clearance done. These checks were done for both of us and the only thing that came up was traffic violations. My concern is the USCIS background check. I've read that this check consists of administrative, applicant, criminal, personnel and other files
compiled by law enforcement. My question: would a police report (with no charges or arrests) definitely show up on this background check? This police report involves both of us and is within the last 1.5 years
From what I have read and know from my personal experience - if you weren't fingerprinted for the offense, it's doubtful that it will show up on the USCIS check. All they do is run your fingerprints through the FBI database. I have a disorderly conduct and my husband has an underage drinking and open container and we had to prove to the USCIS that these were actually offenses that we committed because we were never fingerprinted so they weren't showing up on the USCIS check but they were disclosed in our homestudy.
I believe you need to report any arrests. A police report where no one was arrested probably wouldn't come up.
While it may sound logical to do only one criminal check, and to make it the most comprehensive of the types of checks, that is simply not how the system works. There are too many separate entities involved in approving an adoption, and each entity has its own requirements.
As an example, most states require that families obtain a police clearance as part of their homestudy. States vary in what is required. Some states are satisfied if you go to your local or state police and get a letter indicating that you are not in their system. Some states want local police clearances from every jurisdiction in which you have ever lived. Some states want both a police clearance and an FBI clearance. And so on. Since the homestudy requirements were, in most cases, developed for domestic and foster care adoptions, and families adopting domestically still have to comply with them, they are not based on USCIS requirements.
The USCIS has its own particular requirements for the I-600A. The USCIS is particularly strict, because it knows that, when it approves a person to adopt, it is essentially swearing to the foreign country that the person will be a safe parent. It does not want to be put into a situation where it approves a person to adopt from a country, and where the country then learns that the person has abused the adopted child. It makes the U.S. look bad.
Foreign countries may have their own specific requirements. Sometimes, they don't fully understand the American system of government when they make their rules, and may request something that isn't really possible in the U.S. Usually, what happens in that case is that the State Department works with the foreign country to find an approach that is doable in the U.S. and acceptable to the foreign government.
I'm not sure if this falls in the same category here, but I had an issue where I had an emotional arguement with a friend who was out of the country via e-mail and said something where they thought I wanted to hurt myself when I really just meant I wanted to end it with them. When they couldn't reach me, they called 911. They did take me to the ER to be checked, but nothing came of it other than to tell me to be careful what I type in e-mail. It was a total misunderstanding.
At any rate- the Home Study asks if you have ever sought the help of a mental health professional. The answer would be No. I spoke with an adoption counselor about it and she said if I never set up counseling or was authourized to, then No is correct.
My concern is just whether this will still be something that comes up at all in a background check. I certainly don't want them to think I am hiding something, but I also would prefer not to get into it. It happened about 7 years ago and I never even discussed it with anyone (including my husband) because I hadn't even thought about it until now when I was going through the paperwork.
Any advice? Will me verifyong FBI and local police records give me pace of mind with this?
I think the FBI records check will show any arrests in your history. It doesn't seem that what you're describing would show up on a criminal history check.
My husband had a DWI several years ago (before he was even 21). I'm not sure if it was expunged or just reduced? We got it taken care of because he is a truck driver and his CDL would have been revoked if it showed up on his record. Last year he got a new job and went through the background checks and fingerprinting, but nothing showed up (for his Co.). Does this mean it won't show up for our adoption papers? Thanks!
My husband has a rather shady past, but none of it involves violence or more than a misdemeanor. He had a DWI 11 years ago, and a string of false accusations (dismissed) from a rotten neighbor over the course of a few years, including a false arrest (never vacated, but the cop was dismissed) for public intoxication (no breath test, just dragged off in front of our own property after mistakenly going out the door to greet his bro-in-law). He has a current DWI which looks as though it will be dismissed since no officer even actually saw him in the vehicle. Do we ever have a chance of a non-agency adoption? Anyone ever hear of someone adopting an older child via totally private adoption (non-relative)l--i.e. no homestudy, etc.?
It seems like a conspiracy to pay for a home study and then not pass the clearance. I doubt any of us have done anything terrible or we wouldn't be trying to adopt. It's stressful...
It is really not their intention to inconvenience anyone, the various requirements and background checks were placed to ensure that the child will be placed in the best of care, although no one, in their right mind, with previous convictions would attempt to apply for an adoption, God forbid. Still it is good to know that they do these types of checks..
and just an additional, do they include credit checks with these [URL=""]background checks[/URL] that they do?
I don't think there is any type of adoption you can do without a homestudy. Even private adoptoin, non agency requires a homestudy.
Dear Trying To Adopt:
Please remember that all reputable homestudy agencies have what is called an intake process. This process is specifically designed to ensure that you don't waste your money, and the agency doesn't waste its time, doing a homestudy on someone who cannot possibly be approved.
In the intake process, you will generally fill out a questionnaire and speak with someone in person or by telephone. You will be asked questions about such things as arrests, treatment for substance abuse, serious medical conditions, serious psychiatric conditions, employment history, source of and amount of income, living situation, etc.
If you answer certain questions in the affirmative, you will generally be told that there is no way you can be approved to adopt, and that there is no point to having a homestudy. As an example, if you had a conviction for domestic violence or child abuse, there is no way that you can ever be approved for any type of adoption.
Likewise, there are some situations in which in which you might be told that you shouldn't have a homestudy NOW, because you can't be approved with your current situation, but that you may be able to be approved if that situation changes.
As an example, if you have just started your first job after finishing college, you have no track record of steady employment; thus, you will be advised to wait a couple of years and come back when you have proof of consistent employment at a salary that will allow you to raise a child.
If you are currently on public assistance because of some temporary situation in your life -- for example, death of a spouse -- you will be told that you cannot adopt while on public assistance, but that you should come back when you have a steady source of income from employment.
If you are newly married or newly divorced, most agencies will require you to wait at least a year before having a homestudy, to be sure that you have adjusted to your new living situation. The agency will want to be sure that you are not taking on too many new things at once.
In short, most homestudy agencies are not going to start a homestudy with someone who can't be approved at all or at that time. Aside from concern for your wellbeing, they tend to have limited numbers of social workers, and difficulty scheduling homestudy appointments. They are NOT going to want to assign a social worker to a person/couple where approval is not feasible.
Also, do remember that the homestudy is NOT really about approval. By the time most social workers actually commence a homestudy for a client, their homestudy agency will feel very confident that the family is approvable.
The homestudy is primarily about preparing a family for the adoption process and for parenting an adopted child. Yes, the social worker will need to verify the assertions made on intake by reviewing documents such as police clearances, medical reports, and so on, but the real emphasis will be on things like pre-adoption education and counseling.
MomRaine is correct. There is no type of adoption that can be done legally without a homestudy. Even relative adoption requires one, though the process is slightly simpler than the one for adopting a non-relative.
Doing a homestudy for a non-relative, older child adoption is particularly important, since there are many challenges involved in parenting a child who has had adverse life experiences, such as death of a parent, abandonment by a parent, physical or sexual abuse by a parent, etc., and the homestudy is designed to prepare families for dealing with these challenges.
When you get on the site you will find extensive criminal information in the form of an article that takes up the entire middle of the page.
[url=]Criminal Record Check [/url]
If you have not been convicted of a felony then you will pass a criminal background check. Alot of counties have judicial records online. Check to see if that county has the records online, type in your name and see what it pulls up before running a fee based check if you are still concerned.
[url=]Criminal Attorneys[/url]