If you’re hoping to adopt across state lines, you will need to secure ICPC clearance before you’ll be able to bring your baby home for the first time. But what is ICPC, and how will it affect your adoption process?
ICPC is the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children, and it is designed to ensure that children who are adopted across state lines are going to safe and stable homes.
You’ll only need to complete the ICPC process if you’re adopting with a prospective birth mother from a state outside of Iowa, or if you live in another state but are adopting a child born in Iowa. Many adoptions do occur across state lines, so adoptive parents often need to complete the ICPC process. Nelson Law Firm can guide you through it all.
What is the ICPC process like?
The ICPC process involves sending the required documents from the birth mother’s state to the receiving state. Each state will separately review and approve the documents and may ask for additional documentation.
ICPC processing and clearance can only begin after the birth mother signs her consent forms to terminate her parental rights. The waiting time between when the baby is born and when the birth parents can sign the consent forms varies by state. Once that happens, Nelson Law Firm will collect and send your ICPC documents to the birth mother’s state’s ICPC offices, where they’ll be processed. Once they’ve been approved by that state, they’ll be sent to Iowa’s ICPC offices, where they’ll undergo the same review.
After both states have approved the ICPC paperwork, they’ll contact attorney Ken Nelson, who will call to let you know that you’ve successfully cleared with ICPC and you can return home with your baby.
What do potential adoptive parents need to know about ICPC?
Up until you’ve gained that clearance, you’ll have to remain within the birth mother’s state with your newborn baby in your care. It’s illegal for you to leave the state with your new baby until ICPC has been cleared and your adoption specialist calls to let you know that you’re free to return back to Iowa.
ICPC can be frustrating (especially since adoptive families are not permitted to have any direct contact with the ICPC offices — so don’t try to call and ask how things are going!) but it’s one of the last hurdles standing between your family and a completed adoption.
To learn more about the legal requirements of ICPC and how it may affect your adoption, you can contact Nelson Law Firm now.