The ICPC applies only to children who are placed for adoption across state lines, but not to placements made with a parent, stepparent, grandparent or other close adult relative.
How does the ICPC work?
If an adoptive family is from state A (receiving state) and the baby is born in state B (sending state), ICPC applies. In this situation, the family would travel to the sending state for placement of the child in their care. Before they are allowed to leave the sending state, the adoption entity would submit the ICPC paperwork to the sending state's ICPC office. After the sending state has approved the adoption, all of the paperwork would then be forwarded to the receiving state's ICPC office. Once approved by the receiving state, the family is notified that they can return home.
What are the ICPC safeguards?
The ICPC offers safeguards to all parties involved in the adoption, especially the child. The ICPC requires both a home study of the adoptive family and an evaluation of the interstate placement, and ensures that the sending and receiving states' laws and policies are followed. The ICPC assigns responsibility to the sending agency to guarantee the child's legal and financial protection and allows the prospective receiving state the opportunity to consent to or deny the adoptive placement. Additionally, the ICPC provides for continual supervision and regular reports on each interstate placement and ensures the sending agency does not lose legal jurisdiction of the child after the child moves to the receiving state.
How long does complying with the ICPC take in cases involving Florida?
Although ICPC clearance for cases involving children adopted out of state care can take some time, children placed privately for adoption are generally able to return home with their adoptive parents within 7 - 10 business days. This is an average time frame and some ICPC offices can take longer. Adoptive families should generally make the necessary arrangements to stay in the sending state for at least 2 weeks. ICPC typically requires the submission of the baby's discharge paperwork and medical records so only when these items become available can the ICPC package be completed and sent out. Florida's ICPC office additionally requires a letter from the Department of Children and Families if the state places a hold on the baby for any reason at the hospital. Obtaining this letter may further delay the ICPC clearance.
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