Faqs About Interstate Adoptions

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Below are some frequently asked questions about Interstate Adoptions:

What is interstate adoption?

Interstate adoption means adopting a child from another state or territory. Because two states are involved, the process requires compliance with the laws of both states.

If you are considering adopting a child from another state, it will help to speak to an interstate adoption attorney who can guide you through the process. Mills Adoption Law is an interstate adoption law firm with over 35 years of experience. As a law practice that focuses on adoption, Mills Adoption Law can anticipate problems that others can’t so they don’t become barriers to success.

What is the ICPC?

The ICPC, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children, is a uniform law passed in all 50 states and the District of Columbia in the 1960s to establish procedures for interstate adoptions.

How does the ICPC work?

When you intend to move the adoptee across state lines, you must submit paperwork to two ICPC organizations. In short, you will need approval from the ICPC in the adoptee’s state and your home state before returning home with your child.

An experienced interstate adoptions attorney can assist with the ICPC. To comply with the ICPC, you must submit the following information:

  • ICPC-l00A: Form requesting ICPC approval to make placement.
  • Cover letter identifying the child, birth parent(s), the prospective adoptive parent(s), a statement as to how the match was made, name of the intermediary, if any, and the name of the supervising agency and address.
  • Consent or relinquishment signed by the parent(s).
  • If a parent elects to follow the laws of the receiving state, a written waiver of the laws of the sending state.
  • A statement detailing how the rights of all parents shall be legally addressed.
  • Certification by an authorized person or entity that the consent or relinquishment is in compliance with the applicable laws of the sending state.
  • Verification of compliance with Indian Child Welfare Act.
  • Legal risk acknowledgement signed by the prospective adoptive parents.
  • A statement of the basis on which the sending person or agency has authority to place the child and documentation that supervision is on-going.
  • Current case history for the child, including custodial and social history, chronology of court involvement, social dynamics, education information (if applicable), and a description of any special needs of the child. If an infant, at a minimum, a copy of the medical records of the birth and hospital discharge summary for the child, if the child has been discharged.
  • Foster home license if applicable.
  • Adoptive home study or approval and verification of compliance with federal and state background clearances, including FBI fingerprint and Child Abuse/Neglect clearances and Sex Offender Registry clearance.
  • Affidavit of Expenses, if applicable.
  • Copy of sending agency’s license or certification, if applicable.
  • Biological parents’ information-social history, medical history, ethnic background, reasons for adoption plan, and circumstances of proposed placement.
  • A written statement from the person or entity that will be providing postplacement supervision; and
  • Authority for the prospective adoptive parents to provide medical care.

Interstate adoptions are subject to delay because either state can request additional information to determine if the move is in the child’s best interests.

Complying with the ICPC can be complicated and burdensome. If you are considering interstate adoption, find an adoption lawyer with the experience necessary to make the process smooth and efficient.

Mills Adoption Law focuses on helping growing families through the interstate adoption process.

Will complying with the ICPC delay my adoption?

The ICPC creates additional requirements for the protection of the child. The purpose is to ensure that the adoption complies with the laws in both states and that the adoption is in the child’s best interest.

If you are pursuing an interstate adoption, it is vital to have an experienced interstate adoptions attorney to help guide you through the ICPC process to avoid unnecessary delays.

Call us today at (919) 306-2899 or fill out our contact form to schedule a consultation with our adult adoption law firm.

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Why Should You Choose An Adoption Attorney?

Adoption is a wonderful option for expanding your family, but the laws governing the process are quite complex. Working with an attorney with significant experience in adoption law will help ensure that the adoption process goes smoothly.

An adoption attorney will:


We will provide an unbiased explanation of adoption procedures and develop a legally secure plan tailored to your needs.


We will assess the risks involved, including determining what payments are permissible and ensuring that birth parents are treated fairly and their rights are legally terminated before placement is finalized.


We will clarify your options, if any, for post-placement arrangements with birth parents, making sure your interests and those of the child are served.

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We will explain your rights and adoption laws in your state or refer you to attorneys who practice in other states or internationally.


We will review and negotiate the adoption agency contract to protect your interests.

You Should...


You should contact an attorney as early as possible in the decision-making process.


Learn about the specific types of adoption services the attorney provides. Ask what percentage of the practice is dedicated to adoption and how many adoption proceedings the attorney has handled.


Choose an attorney who is experienced in the type of adoption you are considering.

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Know what the attorney charges, how fees are structured and that you can afford the services.


Ask questions, request references, share your concerns and provide the attorney with all relevant documents. Ask for a written retainer agreement that outlines what the attorney charges, how fees are structured and other details regarding fees and fee payment.

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