Adoption Frequently Asked Question #10
How do I adopt a child living in another State? How do I adopt across State lines?
Families often adopt children from other States and children can find permanent families originally living in other States. The basic adoption process for adoptions involving multiple States is similar to the process for adoptions within the same State. All prospective adoptive parents must obtain a home study (or family profile) and follow their State’s adoption laws. Child Welfare Information Gateway, a service of the Children’s Bureau, provides information on the basic steps involved in the adoption process in the How to Adopt section of its website at http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adoptive/.
There are a few additional steps that families must complete for an adoption involving more than one State. Adoption laws vary from State to State, and the laws of all States involved must be followed when the parties involved in an adoption do not live in the same State. Child Welfare Information Gateway provides summaries of State adoption statutes on its website at http://www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/state/adoption/.
Additionally, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) must be involved any time a child is moved from one State to another for purposes of adoption. The ICPC requires that parties comply with the law of the sending State (the State where the child originated) before the sending State's ICPC office will approve the child's transfer. Also, home studies in the receiving State cannot be initiated until ICPC receives the request from the sending State and gives permission to initiate the study. ICPC is a membership organization that does not work directly with families. Families who are involved in an adoption across State lines generally work with both an adoption worker in their home State to complete a home study and preservice training and another adoption worker in the child’s State to walk them through the steps needed to satisfy the ICPC requirements.
More information on the ICPC is available in the Interjurisdictional Placement section of Child Welfare Information Gateway’s website at http://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/types/interjurisdictional/.
Interjursidictional Resources, including ICPC checklists and State-by-State resources, are available on the AdoptUsKids’ website at http://adoptuskids.org/professionalResourceCenter/interjurisdictional....
Contact information for each State’s ICPC Administrator and State Adoption Program Manager can be found in the National Foster Care & Adoption Directory on Child Welfare Information Gateway’s website at http://www.childwelfare.gov/nfcad/index.cfm. (See: State Foster Care and Adoption Officials)