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What is ICPC and as a Birth Mother, Why do I Need to Understand it?

By Noah Abrams

Choosing adoption for your baby or adopting a child through another state is not unusual. With prospective adoptive families everywhere, you may just find the perfect placement in another state. In this case, you will hear a lot about ICPC. The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, ICPC is a contractual agreement between the 50 states. The goal is to ensure that children placed through adoption or foster care are given the necessary protection and support.

Are you experiencing an unplanned pregnancy and considering placing your baby with an adoptive family in a different state? If so, ICPC is something you should familiarize yourself with. If you are searching for adoption agencies in Oklahoma, Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, we can discuss this agreement more in detail, as well as any other information you may need regarding adoption. Here is the framework of ICPC and why it is important.

What Role Does ICPC Play in the Adoption Process?

For birth mothers planning on putting a child up for adoption through a different state, ICPC will be a factor. It is a federal law that aims to govern adoption throughout the United States. Meaning that regardless of which state you reside in, ICPC rules must be met for interstate adoption approval. It is set in place for a few reasons, but all look to keep the child as the focus. 

It was initially used for children to be adopted across state borders. Because of the prevalence of private adoption for infants, it was added to regulate this adoption process as well. The child has priority and ICPC establishes this priority in different ways. Those include:

  • Assuring the child is placed with the most ideal adoptive family. 
  • The receiving state has the authority to ensure all laws are followed entirely.
  • The receiving state has the authority to ensure the placement is in the child’s best interest.
  • The sending state is given adequate information to assess the placement.
  • The child is given both legal and financial protection

As mentioned, ICPC is put in place to assure and protect the child’s best interest. They are set to ensure the child is placed with a great adoptive family in the best environment available. Next, we’ll take a look at the ICPC process for prospective birth mothers in Oklahoma.

The ICPC Process in Oklahoma

Because ICPC contractually ties all states, the process will be the same regardless of which state you are in. When completing your adoption plan, there are also certain deliverables that have to be met concerning interstate adoption. For example, a home study and a criminal record check regarding the Criminal & Abuse Neglect Registry are conducted. It takes 2 months for the home study to be completed. It takes 3 months for a home study and criminal background check to be completed. It takes 3-6 months to be approved, and the license is valid for only 1 year. After that year is up, the license has to be renewed.

You must also send in certain information pertaining to the adoption to your home state’s ICPC office. When giving your baby up for adoption in another state, it is important that you are aware of their requirements III (b) of ICPC, which lists the conditions for interstate placements, states that the following must be provided:

  • The child’s name
  • The child’s birth date
  • The child’s place of birth 
  • Your name(s)
  • A statement listing your reason behind placing your child in a different state

The ICPC office will then assess your home study, which is a common cause of delay in the process. Additionally, you may be required to provide other information. Both the ICPC office and your state will assess the information given. Both may request additional information in the case that the provided information isn’t enough to make a decision. Approval is granted when both agree that all procedures have been followed and the move promotes the child’s best interest.

For more information on ICPC, please contact one of our adoption specialists. 

Let Adoption Choices of Oklahoma Handle ICPC and Other Adoption-Related Needs

You may feel the urge to contact us to expedite, but there is no need. Unfortunately, the timeline is in the hands of the ICPC offices in both the receiving and sending states. At Adoption Choices of Oklahoma, we will be here to support you however we can. We will provide any supplemental information or paperwork on your behalf. 

ICPC was created to establish uniformity across all 50 states. It aims to assure that no matter the child, adoption across states gives adoptees the same resources and benefits. Additionally, it eliminates the question of who is legally and financially responsible for the child until the prospective adoption is approved.

ICPC and its regulations may be confusing to prospective birth mothers. Unfamiliar with ICPC and looking for Tulsa adoption agencies or Oklahoma City adoption agencies? Contact us, as we understand that if you have a child, adoption is already emotionally challenging. Let us relieve some of the stress, anxiety, and other negative feelings you may feel throughout the process. Keep your child’s future at the top of your mind and focus on finding them an ideal home. While you do this, we will be here to provide whatever support you need. If you need help navigating ICPC or have general questions about adoption, contact Adoption Choices of Oklahoma today!


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