Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children
Everyone is talking about the constitution lately. Specifically, a provision of the constitution that begins with the letter I. But I don’t want to talk about impeachment. There is actually another provision of the constitution with huge ramifications for the adoption process. It is the interstate compact provision of the constitution.
The interstate compact provision of the constitution states that states may form certain agreements with each other, provided that they have consent of Congress to do so. The Supreme Court has interpreted this provision to require congressional approval if the compact would expand the power of the states at the expense of the federal government.
States have formed compacts for a variety of reasons. One example is compacts to handle environmental issues and natural resources that cross state boundary lines. In the context of adoptions, states have used the interstate compact provision of the constitution to form the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (“ICPC”).
What is ICPC
So what is the ICPC? The ICPC is a law that governs the enforce-ability of out of state adoptions, meaning adoptions where a child from one state is placed for adoption in a different state. It sets the requirements that must be met before a child can be placed for adoption in a different state. This ensures that prospective placements are safe and suitable before approval. The ICPC also states that the individual or institution placing the child remains legally and financially responsible for the child following placement until the child is formally adopted by the adoptive parents in the receiving state.
How does the ICPC work?
The process starts when the adoption agency handling the adoption in the sending state requests a home study and completes paperwork required by the ICPC. The paperwork is sent to the sending state’s central ICPC office, which sends it to the receiving state for review. The paperwork is reviewed by the receiving state’s central ICPC office and forwarded to the prospective parent’s adoption agency, meaning the adoption agency handling the adoption in the receiving state. The adoption agency then conducts the home study to see whether the adoption is in the best interests of the child. The agency will approve or deny the adoption based on this study. The adoption agency then sends the results of the home study to the receiving states central ICPC office for formal approval. If it provides this formal approval, then the adoption can be finalized.
What is the Reason for ICPC?
All of this may seem tedious. Why have all this red tape when you are ready to adopt a child? The reason for the ICPC is simple. A state’s authority normally ends at its boundary lines. The ICPC creates a uniform nationwide set of laws and procedures to ensure that children enjoy the same protections and benefits regardless of the state to which they are moving. It also removes any question of responsibility for the child by stating that the individual or entity placing the child remains legally and financially responsible for the child following placement and until the adoption is formalized.
This is important because different states have different laws regarding adoption. For example, a child born in Missouri could be adopted by a family in California. The ICPC allows Missouri to step in and enforce its laws to protect the child if something went wrong with the adoption after the child moved to California. It also gives a set of uniform protections to the child regardless of whether he or she moves to California, moves back to Missouri, or moves to a different state. Before the ICPC, this wasn’t possible.
Adoption Choices of Missouri knows that the ICPC may be hard for some individuals to navigate. That is why we are here to help. Let Adoption Choices of Missouri handle the specifics of the ICPC so you can focus on building a forever home for your new child! We are delighted to hear from you, call us toll free: 1-877-903-4488