US Map Selecting an Out-of-State Family for Your Child

Selecting an Out-of-State Family for Your Child

In many cases, expectant mothers making an adoption plan will find that the adoptive family that best fits their plan for their child lives in another state. Out-of-state adoptions will look different that in-state adoptions for a variety of reasons, so it’s important to consider the legal and logistical elements specific to an interstate adoption.

Firstly, lets address the Interstate Compact for Placement of a Child. The ICPC are the laws governing adoptions where the child will be adopted in a different state than they are born. For adoptive parents to return home with their child records of the child’s birth and adoption must be shared between their home state and the child’s state of birth. This can take anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, on average the waiting period is about 2 weeks. The adoptive family must remain in the child’s state of birth until they receive approval from the Compact Administrator. It is not uncommon in open adoptions to use this as an opportunity for birth and adoptive families to bond with one another, this is something that can be discussed in the time leading up to the child’s birth.

Another factor to consider is whether you will want in person visits with your child, and how an interstate placement may affect this. Some adoptive families may already have family in the area that they visit regularly. Some may choose to maintain a timeshare near the birthparents. Many may be willing to coordinate for you to visit in their home-state. The possibilities are endless, but if you hope to have visits, you should discuss this during the matching process as well!


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The most important thing to remember is that whether you are choosing an in-state or interstate adoption, the future is never set in stone. Adoptive families in-state may choose to move farther away in the future, out-of-state families may move closer, and your future may lead you somewhere else as well. The first priority selecting a family is to find the right fit for you and your child; geographical distance can easily be bridged with video chat & phone calls, planned visits, and photographs.

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