When you adopt a child from another state, it is called in interstate and there are special requirements. Interstate adoptions are unique in that adoptive parents must obtain permission from both states before the child can leave and go home with them. These adoptions must follow the rules in the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC).
What Is The ICPC?
You may be matched or find a placement opportunity anywhere in the United States. It is likely that your child will cross state lines to be placed with you for adoption. The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) applies to all adoptions where a child in one state is placed for adoption in another state.
- According to Regulation 12, “The ICPC process exists to ensure protection and services to children and families involved in executing adoptions across state lines and to ensure that the placement is in compliance with all applicable requirements.”
- The Compact Administrators decide whether the legal requirements of both states have been satisfied and whether the adoptive parents have received adequate health and legal risk information to make an informed decision about whether to accept the placement.
- The purpose is to determine whether “the proposed placement does not appear to be contrary to the interests of the child.”
If a child is born in State A and the adoptive parents live in State B, then the baby will be crossing state lines for purposes of adoption and ICPC applies to the adoption. The adoptive parents must obtain approval from both State A and State B before returning to their home state with the baby. Failure to obtain ICPC approval before returning home with the child can be grounds to dismiss the adoption.
The ICPC process can be expensive, frustrating, and exhausting if you are not prepared and are not represented by an experienced adoption lawyer. Compliance with the Compact, requires you to leave your home and put your normal routines on hold while you stay in the sending state with the baby waiting of approval to go home. You should plan on staying in the sending state for as long as two weeks.
Although the process can vary from state to state, the process will generally look like this:
- After consents are signed by the mother, then the child is placed in your care.
- Your home study, clearances, and the consents and other placement documents are submitted for review by the ICPC administrator in the state where the baby is born, the sending state.
- If your package is incomplete, the ICPC administrator in the sending state may request additional documents or information. These requests may cause substantial delays and additional expenses.
- After the initial review and approval by the sending state, the package is sent to the ICPC administrator in your home state, the receiving state.
- In the receiving state, the package is reviewed again to determine whether the legal requirements of the receiving state have been met.
- Sometimes the ICPC administrator in the receiving state may also request additional documents or information. Again, these requests may cause substantial delays and additional expenses.
- When the ICPC administrator in your home state gives you approval to enter, the baby can go to its new home.
While this process is underway, the child is in your care in the sending state. You are waiting for approval to go home. While we cannot predict how long the process will take, we usually advise prospective parents to plan on staying in the baby’s home state for at least 2 weeks after birth. Failure to obtain ICPC approval can be grounds to dismiss the adoption.
The ICPC process can be frustrating and expensive. Having the guidance of an experienced adoption lawyer can make it easier. Let us take care of the paperwork, while you take care of the baby.
Experience On Your Side
Bobby Mills has over 30 years’ experience helping build families through adoption. He can help you with your interstate adoption. We can also connect you with an out-of-state attorney for your ICPC process. Call us today at 919-306-2899 to schedule a consultation.