INTERSTATE COMPACT ADOPTIONS
Interstate Compact Adoptions
The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is the governing law in all states in the United States. This law governs how adoption between states will be handled. This law was created in an effort to prevent abuse, and it has done a great deal of good; however, it also added complexity when adopting from another state. Often, an attorney will be hired on both ends of the adoption to ensure that all aspects of this law are met. However, it is most important to hire an attorney in the birth or “sending state”.
Under the ICPC, attorneys doing interstate adoptions must comply with laws of both states. If the mother leaves what is known as the “sending state” and moves to the “receiving state” for the purpose of birth, the parties must comply with the laws of both states. That is, a birth mother cannot simply go to another state for the birth or for a period of time for the purpose of circumventing the ICPC. Adoption is typically permanent, but prospective parents do not want to skip steps and leave doors open to claims of fraud or failure to comply with law that could unravel the entire process.
Also, one of the most important things to mention for planning purposes is that once the “sending state” or birth state approves the adoption, the adoptive parents must stay in that state until the “receiving state” also accepts the adoption. You should plan for this process to take a few weeks, so speak to your attorney about when this trip would take place and be sure to speak to work about accommodation. Failure to stay in the birth state until the “receiving state” (your home state) agrees to the adoption can mean serious ramifications and additional costs.
Interstate compact cases where an adoption agency is performing the required background work will have a retaining fee of $3,500.00. Interstate compact cases where no adoption agency is involved have a retaining fee of $5,000.00. We bill against the retaining fee at $250.00 to $395.00 per hour, based on experience. (More details would be explained in a legal services agreement.)
To schedule a free consultation with one of our family law attorneys please call 770-863-8355.