AWAA-MN is licensed and Hague accredited in the state of Minnesota to provide home study services for adoption. Although our primary role is to provide home study services for families adopting through America World, we are also able to prepare home study and post adoption reports for families using other placement agencies and who meet America World's agency requirements. Our office is located in Coon Rapids, but we are able to provide services for families living throughout the state.
The Home Study is a major part of the adoption process designed to help you, America World, the US Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS), and the foreign government assess your ability to provide a loving home for an orphan. A home study is an assessment process that provides a written report that is a comprehensive picture of your background, current family life and how this new child will be integrated into your family. It is designed to be a non-judgmental, educational and fruitful process. Some of the topics discussed during the home study process are motivation for adoption, expectations regarding adoption: short-term and long term, attitude towards biological parents, type of child desired: age, sex, medical or emotional concerns, and attitudes of extended family and non-resident siblings. Your home study coordinator will also explore your values related to parenting, marriage, finances, spiritual beliefs, and child-care plans. These discussions will all take place during four face-to-face visits, one of which must be in your home. For residents in the state of MN, state and Federal criminal record checks, child abuse registry checks and references will be obtained. You will need to provide a copy of your birth certificate, marriage license, financial documentation and medical statements for all members of the family. All of these items will be collected and reported in the home study.
AWAA-MN also provides post adoption services for your adoption. Post adoption visits are vital to help an adoptive family adjust and transition as a new family unit. We will visit your family in your home to assess your transition and write a post adoption report. Each country and even some states have their own post adoption requirements. Your social worker will ensure that all state, agency and country requirements are met in your post adoptive reports. At a minimum you will be required to have at least two post adoption visits. In addition to post adoption visits and reports, we will be available to offer support and referrals for special services, education and/or trainings.
A Note from the MN Director of Social Services – Stacie Lerum, BSW, LSW
Hello from Minnesota! I am a busy wife and mother of 4 young children living in the Twin Cities Metro area and through God’s divine providence, I have taken on the added title as Minnesota’s Director of Social Services for America World. I have my Bachelors Degree in Social Work from Calvin College and since earning that, I have worked in positions that would allow me to improve the lives of children (including child protection, school social work, crisis pregnancy counseling, and juvenile probation.) I “fell in love” with adoption when I was a Birthparent Counselor in Colorado, and since returning to Minnesota in 1998, I longed for God to provide me with another mission field related to adoption. Helping America World families is that opportunity!
How to Begin
If you are adopting through America World, you will begin by completing an application online. Once your application has been approved and we have received your program agreements, Stacie Lerum will contact you to initiate the home study. If you are not using America World as your placing agency, but would like to use our local social services in MN, you may fill out the application online and choose "Social Services Only" under Application Type. The application fee for a social service only case is reduced to $175. Once the application is processed, Stacie Lerum will contact you and will work directly with you and your placement agency to ensure all requirements are met in your home study and post adoption reports. If you have any questions, please contact Stacie Lerum.
America World - MINNESOTA
Coon Rapids, MN 55433
9 AM - 5 PM CT