If you're adopting a child that will be born in a different state than your own, it's crucial you familiarize yourself with ICPC. Here is what you need to know about this important topic.

What is ICPC?

ICPC stands for the Interstate Compact on Placement of Children. This compact applies to all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. Every prospective adoptive parent must comply with the ICPC regulations if the prospective adoptive parent(s) reside in a different state than the home state of the birthmother and child.

What is the purpose of ICPC in an adoption?

The purpose of ICPC is to protect children by ensuring that the potential placement is in a safe environment with the prospective adoptive parent(s), who are able to meet the child’s needs.

When does this come into play for an adoption?

ICPC comes into play once the child is born and all relinquishments and revocation periods are terminated. The sending state, which is the home state of the child, will contact the compact administrator of that of the prospective adoptive parent(s)'s state and include a packet of documents that prepared by the attorney in the child’s state. The prospective adoptive parent(s) cannot leave the state nor cross state lines until there is clearance from both the sending state and the receiving state.

When does ICPC approval occur?

Please expect to stay in the child's birth state anywhere from 7–10 working days. This is excluding holidays and weekends. If the process is due to start on a holiday, they will start the ICPC process on the following business day. Once the packet is submitted and is found to be in compliance with the laws of both states, the attorney you hired will communicate this to you and the birthmother, respectively. Please note, the attorneys and the compact administrators are working very hard to get clearances for you to go home. There is no sense in trying to rush this process as it can in turn jeopardize a potential placement.

Other Key Points

  • The attorney that we will refer you to hire for the birthmother, as well as for yourselves (if needed), will explain this process to you in greater depth. They are very knowledgeable in this area and will educate you to the fullest so you'll know what to expect if placement goes through until the end.
  • Remember that even though you think ICPC may take a long time and you’re eager to get home, it’s worth waiting to ensure everything is in compliance with the state laws.