If the adoptive couple lives in a different state than child they are adopting then the adoption constitutes an Interstate adoption and is subject to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). The ICPC is a law that has been passed in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands that governs the placement of children across state lines for the purposes of adoption, foster care, or residential treatment.
The ICPC was created to ensure that the best interests of the child are protected when they are placed outside their state of residence. The agreement requires that both the “sending state” (the state where the child lives) and the “receiving state” (the state where the child will be placed) work together to ensure that the placement is in the child’s best interest and that all necessary legal requirements are met.
After the couple travels to the other state to take custody of the child, the agency, or lawyer handling the adoption will create a packet of documents and information and submit it to the sending state ICPC administrator. After reviewing and approving, the sending state administrator will transfer the ICPC request to the receiving state’s ICPC administrator. Most states do these transfers electronically.
Once approved by both states, the couple will get the green light to travel home with the child. The length of time to complete this process varies by state, but generally couples should expect to spent 1 to 2 weeks in the other state before returning home.
With interstate adoptions, adoption professionals are required in the sending state to assist the agency or attorney with the birth parent services, to ensure that there is compliance with or waiver of the sending state’s laws. Couples pursuing an interstate adoption placement should plan to budget extra money for the additional expenses associated with travel, lodging, food, and professional birth parent services.
A qualified and experienced adoption attorney can advise you on the best state to finalize your adoption and other legal issues you should consider when creating your interstate adoption plan. Derek and his team are very experienced in handling interstate adoptions whether they are private adoptions he manages, or those run by a licensed child-placing agency.