ICPC-What the heck is that?


ICPC and How it Works

 Just because you live in one state doesn’t mean you have to adopt there.  People travel from state-to- state all the time to adopt their children.  There is a process that dictates how fast you can go home after your child is placed with you for adoption.  This process is often known as “ICPC.”  This acronym stands for the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children.”  Every state in the United States has an ICPC office.  And ICPC is who authorizes you to return home when you are in another state with your adopted child.  Yes, you cannot just get your child and return to your home state.  You have to wait for permission from the ICPC office in the state of placement as well as your home state before you can return home.  On average, this process can take 7-14 days, after your child is placed with you for adoption.

 The Interstate Compact offices have the responsibility of making sure that adoptions meet the criteria and standards of each state involved in the process.  All the t’s need to be crossed and i’s need to be dotted in any adoption.  And especially when the child is going from state to state.  We want to make sure that “child trafficking” is not happening.  There is a lot of liability in adoption and this is just another way to hold others accountable.

 So how does this all happen?  When you take placement of your child, you must plan to stay in that state for an undetermined amount of time while you are waiting for your ICPC approval.  Behind the scenes the following is happening:

 Your agency is copying all your legal documents, all the legal documents that your birth parents have signed, your adoption home study and the supporting documents to your home study.  They are copied and sent to the ICPC office in the “sending” state’s ICPC office which is the state where your baby was born.  They review it, hopefully approve it, then overnight the documents to the “receiving” state, which is the ICPC office in the state where you live.  Your state’s ICPC office then reviews the paperwork, approves it and contacts the “sending” state to give their approval of the placement of your child in your home.  Your agency/attorney then contacts you and you GO HOME!  This process is not quick and speedy.  It is a waiting game and you are at the mercy of many people…and have no control over how long this process can take.  Returning to your home state without the permission of both state’s ICPC offices can jeopardize your adoption. 

 So sit tight and enjoy the time alone with your new child while you wait for your ICPC to clear.  Once you get home, your family and friends will descend on you!  It is not often you can sit and have no work to do, no laundry to clean, no dinner to cook, no errands to run.  Enjoy this time with your new baby.  It is short-lived, I promise!