Simplifying A Complex Process

How does interstate adoption work?

On Behalf of | Oct 6, 2022 | Adoption

Each year, many Michigan families open their hearts and homes to a child by adopting them. Some adoptions take place across state lines.

Understanding interstate adoption

Interstate adoption occurs when a couple chooses to adopt a child from a birth mother in another state. People traveling to a different state regardless of distance, with the intention of adopting, must comply with the Interstate Compact for Placement of Children (ICPC) laws before bringing their child home.

ICPC laws explained

ICPC is a legal agreement that spans all 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It’s an adoption law that exists to ensure that children who are adopted on an interstate basis will be safe and protected while going to their new families and homes.

There are no federal laws on adoption. As a result, ICPC offices are present in all states and apply whenever a child is to be adopted by non-relatives. The birth mother’s state is known as the sending state while the state the adopting family is from is called the receiving state.

During an interstate adoption, ICPC administrators must ensure that all the laws and regulations in both states are complied with before the adoptive parents are permitted to return home with their new child. There are different steps required. One is that the parents must travel to the birth mom’s state before or after the birth. The baby is placed into the adoptive parents’ custody, but there might be a waiting period prior to the birth mom being allowed to consent. There is a form that must be signed giving consent.

Paperwork is needed and is sent to ICPC to ensure that all criteria such as the child’s medical records, consent, home study and more are met.