Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
When you choose to grow your family with adoption, you wait anxiously for the phone call that tells you that you’ve been matched. Today, adoptions from another state are commonplace. With birth parents looking for adoptive parents throughout the United States, it’s not surprising that lots of children find loving homes in a different state. If you adopt a child from another state, you might hear about the ICPC. ICPC is an acronym for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. It’s a law that applies when a child is adopted to a new state. Here’s what you should know about what the ICPC is and how it affects your Arizona adoption process, and why it’s important.
What is ICPC?
ICPC stands for Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. For those parents who found the child of their dreams in another state than the one they live in, this process brings your child home. The purpose of ICPC is to legally transport the adoptee from one state to another in adoption placement. Compact is defined as a formal agreement between two or more parties or, in this case, states. The ICPC creates uniform rules that apply in all 50 states when it comes to moving a child across state lines for the purposes of adoption.
Typically, once the child is ready for adoption, the adoptive parents will make the travel to the home state of the child to accept placement of the child. Normally, the adoptive parents will wait in the state until the paperwork is complete. This can range from days to even weeks, some parents are luckier than others. Things like holidays or the need for additional paperwork can delay the process even more. Communication between caseworkers, the parents, and the state is necessary for a smooth process.
Why ICPC: Things You Need to Know in Arizona Adoption
While the process may not always be quick and easy like we all hope, it is a necessary part of the adoption process. Even if you have consent from the biological parents, you still need approval from both states in order to bring your child across state lines. The child’s home state continues to have jurisdiction over the case until the adoption is final.
- Your ICPC paperwork must be approved before you can leave the state where the baby was born.
- The ICPC process can take 7-10 days, and longer in some cases, often 30-45 days. You should plan to stay in the birth state of your baby for at least one month.
- While it may seem like an inconvenience or not a big deal, ICPC is mandatory in out of state adoptions. Crossing state lines or not complying with the ICPC will put your adoption in jeopardy. It’s hard, but hang in there!
How do I Comply with ICPC in Arizona?
To comply with the ICPC, you must send the required information to the ICPC office in your child’s home state. You must include a summary of the plan for the child’s care, a copy of your home study, financial information and medical information for the child. Article III(b) of the ICPC lists the information you’re required to provide:
- The name of the child
- The child’s birthday
- Birthplace of the child
- Your names
- A concise statement of the reasons for moving the child to a new state
Each ICPC office reviews your home study. In fact, one of the common reasons for a delay is an incomplete home study. You also need to fill out standardized forms with all of the required information. The ICPC office reviews the information to determine if they think that the move is in the child’s best interests. Your state reviews the information for the same reason. Either office can ask for more information in order to examine the best interests of the child. Only once both states are in agreement that the move is in the best interests of the child does your state give final approval for the child’s move. As soon as you have word that your child’s ICPC approval has come through, you’re free to take your child home. You can leave immediately. Usually, you find out by email, a phone call or text.
ICPC Process in Arizona with Adoption Agency
This process, like many in the adoption community, may feel long, tedious, and trying. However, looking back years after, holding your child in your arms, a few weeks will seem like no time at all. These are the weeks that made you stronger than you ever thought possible. Plus, there are no exceptions to ICPC requirements. If the ICPC applies to your case, you must follow it. Adoption Choices professionals offer the support to help you take the necessary steps to navigate the ICPC as quickly and effectively as possible.
For more information on ICPC, contact us at Adoption Choices and we can help guide your down the path you’re looking for. For adoption resources or to begin your adoption journey, birth parents can visit us at Adoption Choices of Arizona or call or text us at 1-480-900-5520. If you are a prospective adoptive family hoping to adopt a baby, please instead, visit us here!
Cady Stokes is an NYU graduate and former intern at Writers House literary agency. She has written for numerous blogs such as Her Campus and The Odyssey. She currently lives in Chicago and can be found on LinkedIn and Twitter.