(Interstate Compact in the Placement of Children)
All states in the United States must follow the rules of the ICPC if a child is born in one state and being adopted by parents who reside in another state.
The ICPC is designed to:
- Know that a child has gone legally from one state to another.
- That adoptive parents have full access to information on the child's health and well-being.
- That parental rights are or are being properly terminated.
- That the adoptive parents taking the child from state A to state B have approved homestudies done by an agency or social worker showing that their home and their parents have been scrutinized to be a safe family for the child and are ready to parent.
ICPC is required whether it is an independent or agency assisted adoption. In a California independent adoption, if a child's going from state A to California, it is the Department of Social Services in the district of the adoptive parent's residence who is the receiving agency. The ICPC in the sending state has its own administration and usually lawyers have prepared the many documents required by both states that each administrator will review and approve if a child is to be allowed to leave the state of birth.
In California private adoption agencies may also be the ICPC administrator if there is a private agency taking relinquishments of the birth parents in the sending state and coordinating the ICPC.
No matter whether one is doing an independent or agency adoption, adoptive parents may not leave the state of the child's birth until both ICPC administrators give their approval. It may take 2-3 days or up to 2-3 weeks. We suggest clients enjoy the time they are alone with their baby out of state while ICPC clears. It is a great chance to bond with your new baby.
Lawyers/agencies in both states assist in the coordination of the ICPC and will keep the process on track so the child comes home with a safe adoption.