What Is the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children?

The Interstates Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) is a law that governs adoptions in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The ICPC contains 10 articles establishing procedures for interstate placement of children and assigning responsibilities to all parties involved in the adoption process. The ICPC comes into force when a baby is born in one state (sending state) and is being adopted by Adopted Parents who live in a different state (receiving state). In this situation, Adoptive Parents travel to the state where the baby is born. To be allowed to leave the state of birth with the baby, ICPC paperwork must be sent by UPS or Federal Express to the ICPC office in the receiving state.

The paperwork typically required by ICPC is the baby’s medical records, discharge paperwork from the hospital, and copies of Consent, along with adoptive parents’ home study, background checks, Nomination of Guardianship, and letters from the agency. ICPC’s typical processing time is a week to ten days, but it can take longer. We typically suggest Adoptive Parents should plan on a two-week stay in the sending state while ICPC paperwork is processed. One Adoptive Parent can stay if both are not available. The wait can seem long, but it is a good opportunity to spend quality time with the baby. If Adoptive Parents cannot stay for two weeks, we can arrange for interim care, but we prefer not to do this as this is an important opportunity to bond with your newborn. Adoptive Parents are allowed (in Florida) to stay with the baby until ICPC permission is granted to take the baby to the receiving state. The Adoptive Parents and baby MUST remain in the sending state until they have ICPC approval to leave with the baby. Failure to wait for permission can put the adoption in jeopardy.

The ICPC safeguards all parties involved in the adoption, but it especially protects the child. The receiving state can deny the adoption if all its conditions are unmet. The receiving states will ensure Post Placement Supervision takes place to protect the child. The Adoption Agency in the sending state retains legal jurisdiction until the adoption is Finalized.

Please know that we have no control over the individual processing time of ICPC paperwork, and each ICPC office is slightly different. We will keep you informed of any updates we receive and will wait as eagerly as our Adoptive Parents for approval.

The ICPC does not apply to children who are adopted by family members or other relatives.