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Interstate Adoptions and the ICPC

If you want to adopt a child that currently lives in another state or that will be born in another state, you must comply with the Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children. The Interstate Compact of the Placement of Children (ICPC) is federal law establishing uniform procedures to administer the interstate placement of children. All fifty states, as well as the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands, are members of the compact.

It is illegal to move a child that you are adopting across state lines without meeting the requirements of the ICPC. The child may not be taken from one state to another until the ICPC offices in both the sending state and the receiving state give approval for the placement of the child.

First, the sending state where the child is born or currently lives, must send an Interstate Compact Placement Request (ICPC 100A) to the receiving state. Along with the ICPC 100A, extensive documentation is required including the adopting parents’ home study, the child’s birth information, the child’s health information, information about the birth parents, and information on the status of the birth parents’ parental rights. The ICPC office in the sending state will review the information and make determination to approve or deny the placement.

The approximate processing time for the ICPC 100A is seven days. However, the timeline may vary depending on the completeness of the application and the procedures of each state. It is not unheard of for adopting parents to live in a hotel for several weeks with a new infant pending ICPC approval before they can return to their home state with the baby. Because of the complicated procedures involved in an interstate adoption, it is important to have a knowledgeable adoption attorney involved to assist you in meeting all necessary requirements of the ICPC.