The rules for adopting a child from another state are different than adopting a child within the same state. The Intestate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC) is a law that has been enacted in all 50 states and is a set of rules that must be complied with before an adoption involving a child and prospective parents who reside in different states can be completed. The ICPC does not apply to stepparent adoptions and some other relative adoptions.
A main requirement of the ICPC is that a home study be completed on the prospective parents that satisfies the state from where the child is being sent that the placement in the new state is safe. Home studies are regularly required in most adoptions regardless of whether the adoption is interstate, but the ICPC differs in that the government agencies in both states must communicate and approve the placement before the local Clerk can grant the adoption.
This extra layer of “red tape” can be confusing and difficult to navigate in some cases even for some attorneys. It is important to have a lawyer who is familiar with this process if you are considering adopting a child from out of state.