How ICPC Affects South Carolina Adoptions

Many adoptive parents have heard the term “ICPC,” but are unaware of what it means or how it could affect a potential adoption. This set of rules governs any adoption where a child or potential adoptive parents are out of state. Certain requirements must be met before the child can be placed out of state with adoptive parents.

What is the ICPC?

The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is an agreement between all fifty states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The agreement governs the placement of adopted children from one state into another. The ICPC also lists the requirements that must be met before a child can be placed out of state. Not only does the ICPC ensure that placements are safe and suitable, it also ensures that any person or organization placing the child remains legally and financially responsible following the placement.

When does the ICPC Apply?

The ICPC applies to adoptions in very specific situations. The agreement governs the following types of placements:

·         The placement of a child in the care or custody of a state public child welfare agency with a relative family, a foster family or an adoptive family in another state;

·         The placement of a child by any person or organization in another state if the placement is for the purpose of adoption;

·         The placement of a child by any person or organization into a licensed residential treatment center located in another state; and

·         Under certain circumstances, the placement of a child with the child’s parent or parents located in another state.

The ICPC does not apply when the placement involves the child being placed by the child’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, adult sibling, adult uncle, adult aunt or legal guardian with any such relative or guardian located in another state or to the placement of a child into a medical facility, a psychiatric institution or a boarding school located in another state.

How Does ICPC Work?

While there is much more to the process in terms of documents, financial arrangements, and licensing, this simple overview shows how ICPC ensures that when children are placed out of state they are placed in a safe environment that can meet their needs. First, a caseworker in the state in which the child is located creates a packet that includes such items as the child’s social, medical, educational history, and any court case involving the child. The packet will also include information about the person who is being considered for placement of the child in the receiving state.

Next, the central office will send it to the social services agency office in the local community where the prospective placement lives. The social services employee will then go out to the home, meet with everyone, do background screening, and determine whether the home should be approved for the child to come and live there.

Then, the central ICPC office in that state and the placement request is either approved or denied based on the recommendation of the home study report. If the request has been approved by the receiving state, the child can be placed in the chosen home.

Contact an Experienced Adoption Attorney Today

Adopting a child can be one of the best experiences of your life, and having an expert adoption attorney by your side can ensure that you can begin a life as a new family as seamlessly as possible. This is especially important if the child or the new parents reside outside of South Carolina. If you or a loved one is considering an out of state adoption, let the experienced ICPC attorneys at Ayers Family Law, LLC help. Call or contact the office today for a free and confidential consultation of your case.