Adoption and the ICPC Process:
When Your Child’s Adoptive Parents Live in a Different State
The day has arrived! Your little bundle of joy has decided that it is time to make their way into this world. During an unexpected pandemic, your hospital plan may go differently than you had expected. For instance, you’ll want to call ahead before going to the hospital to have your baby. This is just to make sure that the hospital staff is ready for your arrival. If you are tested for COVID-19 when you arrive, don’t be alarmed. This is just to ensure your health and safety.
Another difference you may experience regards your child’s adoptive parents. As many states have a mandatory two-week quarantine when moving across state lines, they may already be settled into their hotel, anxiously awaiting the arrival of your child. However, whether or not they will be allowed to be with you in the hospital during delivery is a different story. You’ll want to double check your hospital’s visitor policy for this.
If they are not able to, don’t worry! Everything will be ok. They will need to make sure everything is in place for a safe journey home. Part of this involves getting approved with the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC).
What is the ICPC?
The ICPC is an agreement across all 50 states, Washington D.C, and the Virgin Islands that deals with adoption across state lines. This means that when your child’s adoptive parents are in one state, and you and your baby are in another, they have to get approval to move your baby to their home state. It is possibly one of the most daunting tasks that happen when going through the adoption journey; yet, it is also an extremely crucial aspect. It is the final hurdle that allows your baby to travel with their adoptive parents to their new home safely.
Put simply, ICPC is basically the states communicating back and forth. One state is talking to another state to inform them that a child is coming. This is all for the protection and well being of your baby. While it seems like that should be known by now, this is just the state’s way of making sure.
Important ICPC Information to Know
To further explain, we will break the ICPC process down and highlight some of the most important aspects you and your child’s adoptive parents need to know.
Your child’s adoptive parents cannot leave the state with your baby before the ICPC paperwork is filed and completed. When your child’s adoptive parents fill out all the necessary paperwork, their adoption caseworker will file it and send it to the appropriate ICPC office. Here, it is reviewed to make sure there are no missing pieces.. After that, it will go to the state where your child will live to be approved. The fancy lingo for the state your baby is born in is called “the sending state.” The state your child is going to is called “the receiving state.”
This whole process can take 7-10 business days. Now, this doesn’t mean every process will take that long. Some can be done sooner. Other times, it can take as long as a month. The longer times aren’t the normal, though. Those are often for missing paperwork or holiday delays. For this reason, it’s important that your child’s adoptive parents set aside at least two weeks to be away from home and to be as flexible as they can when it comes to this timeline.
If this is during the pandemic, setting aside a month may be necessary. Even though this is a long time, many states do have a mandatory two-week quarantine when crossing state lines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It is slightly more inconvenient, but it’s all to ensure the health and safety of those involved. Plus, babies don’t understand pandemics. They come on their own time, no matter what is happening in the world they’re about to enter. So, if your baby decides to be born early, then their adoptive parents would already be nearby!
As tempting as it may be, it’s best not to contact the ICPC office. As excited as they will be to safely bring your baby back to their home state, it is important to let the ICPC process run its course. It will happen as quickly as it can and everyone will be notified when they are approved. The adoptive parents’ caseworker is working diligently with the ICPC official to make sure everything is in order.
The home study needs to be up to date. While everything is being processed, your child’s adoptive parents will make sure that their home study information is updated. As it can take time to get proper authorization and confirmation from ICPC, they will have plenty of time to cross this important aspect off their list.
All adoptive parents go through a home study process, which lets us know that your child will be raised in a safe, healthy, and happy environment. It also lets their caseworker know how your baby will live, and what opportunities will be made available to them as they grow up.
Your baby cannot legally leave the state before the ICPC paperwork is cleared. This means that your child’s adoptive parents will have to plan ahead in case the process takes longer than usual. If this happens, it gives them the opportunity to spend time and get to know both you and your baby before going back home. Depending on hospital policy, these visits may need to happen after you have been discharged. You’ll want to make sure that you are practicing social distancing measures to keep yourself -- and everyone else -- safe as you recover.
Adoption and the ICPC Process
When it comes to adoption and the ICPC process, it is important to know that it is a mandatory process that allows your child to safely cross state lines to their new home. It is something that happens behind the scenes during your pregnancy and adoption journey, but important for you to know about if your child’s adoptive parents are coming from another state.
But there’s no need to worry. Ensuring that your baby’s journey to their new home goes smoothly is very important to us. Our agency and staff will take care of everything, and your baby will be able to safely with their adoptive parents to their new life.
Adoption and Surrogacy Choices of Reno has been providing adoption and surrogacy services across Nevada since 2012. You can call us to speak to someone now!