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Defining the Adoption Interstate Compact

In 1974, the Adoption Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children was put into effect. The primary goal is to ensure that children who are placed across state lines are safe and secure. It also helps to ensure that services are available to those children, as well as creating the administrative and legal procedures that govern these adoptions.

Before a child can be placed in a home in another state, the requirements listed in the ICPC must be met. It does go into effect when there are interstate adoptions, but it may also be in effect when a parent places a child in a residential treatment facility.

It works like this:

-- A caseworker prepares a file of the child's educational, medical and social records. Also included is the information about the person who may be receiving or adopting the child. The file is forwarded on to the state where the child may be going.

-- After ensuring everything is in the file that is needed, a social services agency in the receiving state will do a background check and decide if the home is acceptable for the child to move to.

-- The social services agency will complete a report on the home study and send it to the ICPC central office, which is usually located in the state's capitol.

-- As long as the placement has been approved, the child can then be placed in the new home.

There are many more details to the process, but these are the basics. Most of the placements for children in another state are in private homes, including non-custodial parents, relatives, foster families or families that plan to adopt.

There is a lot to consider when adopting, but the process can be much easier when an experienced family law attorney is involved. For those in Nebraska or another state, understanding all of the legal intricacies involved can make the adoption process easier.

Source: Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services, "Adoption Interstate Compact On the Placement of Children" Oct. 08, 2014

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