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Understanding The Interstate Compact On The Placement Of Children

The Interstate Compact, on the placement of children, hereinafter referred to as ICPC, is not a Federal law, but a reciprocal State law which has been enacted in the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the Virgin Islands.

The Compact governs adoptive placements of children between member states including independent adoptions. In most states, the Compact applies even when the person placing the child is the parent unless the child is being placed with another parent, stepparrent, grandparent, adult brother or sister, adult aunt, uncle or legal guardian.

In the adoption arena, the ICPC comes into play when a child is born in one state (usually referred to as the "Sending Agency") and is adopted by residents of another state, (this state is usually referred to as the "Receiving Agency"). In these instances and others as well, the ICPC requirements need to be met.

In California, (and most other states,) these requirements include the preparation and filing of the following with the sending state's Compact Administrator or authorized deputy:

  1. A completed original Interstate Compact Request (Form lOOA), with its duplicates;
  2. An original and two copies of a family history for both birth parents which shall include age, physical appearance, religion, physical and mental health, race, ethnic background, school and employment history as well as information regarding special talents and interests;
  3. A statement signed before a Notary by the natural/legal parent (or soon to be in the case of an unborn child), expressing the intention to place the child with the prospective adoptive parents. The names and addresses of the prospective adoptive parents must be included in the statement;
  4. A statement affirming that the placement is being made with the birth parents' personal knowledge of the prospective adoptive parents, including the name, address, age, religion, race, employment and health history as well as the names of anyone residing with the prospective adoptive parents; 5. A statement indicating how the financial and medical needs of the child will be met while in pre-adoptive placement;
  5. A written authorization for the prospective adoptive parents to secure medical treatment for the child pending the adoption.
  6. A statement, where applicable, evidencing the names of the attorneys in the sending and receiving states.
NOTE, that different states may require additional documentation and/or legal proceedings to take place prior to obtaining Compact approval. For example, it an independent adoption in which Indiana is the receiving state, a legal guardian must be appointed for the child before Compact approval will be given.

In California, independent adoptive placements can be made by the birth parents or a licensed California adoption agency. A placement by any other individual or organization is a misdemeanor. In some states, independent placements can only be made by licensed agencies. This writer recommends that the birth parents, prospective adoptive parents or their counsel secure information regarding the laws of the respective states prior to going forward with any adoption plan.

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