What Is the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children?

August 14, 2023
Moorestown DYFS Attorneys at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker Provide Experienced Counsel in Cases Involving ICPC
Moorestown DYFS Attorneys at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker Provide Experienced Counsel in Cases Involving ICPC

Understanding the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) is crucial when a child is adopted or placed across state lines. The ICPC is a statutory agreement that governs the placement of children in the United States throughout all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. It protects children by confirming that a prospective placement is safe and suitable before a child is moved out of state and by ensuring that the person or entity placing the child remains legally and financially responsible for the child after the placement.

Children placed out of state are far from family and under a different jurisdiction than their home jurisdiction. The ICPC sets forth laws and guidelines for interstate foster care, placement with other parents or relatives, and placement with adoptive families before adoption. The ICPC protects children in interstate placements by ensuring their rights remain the same as if they had not left their home state.

Under the ICPC, the child’s home state is allowed to obtain home studies and evaluations from the proposed interstate placement home; the sending agency is the one that maintains jurisdiction over the child and placement, including receiving reports on the child’s progress. The receiving state can confirm that the placement conforms with their laws and is in the child’s best interest. The child is granted certain legal and financial protections from the person or agency sending them across state lines.

Under What Circumstances Does the ICPC Apply?

The ICPC is commonly applied to cases where a state agency places a child into a home outside that state. This includes out-of-state adoption, a child reuniting with an out-of-state birth parent, a child placed in an out-of-state residential treatment center, a foster family or group home, or an out-of-state relative. The ICPC does not apply to temporary stays of less than 30 days or social or cultural visits during the child’s school vacation time.

The ICPC is implemented only in cases where the court has jurisdiction over a child. Therefore it does not apply to child custody arrangements after a divorce or to placements within tribal nations.

What Documents Are Required by the ICPC?

All types of processes governed by the ICPC, whether an initial placement, relocation of a placement, or a change from foster care to adoption, require an official request to be filed. ICPC Form 100A documents the sending party and their contact information, the child’s name, where the child is being placed, the type of action requested, and other necessary information. The receiving state must approve the placement and sign and return Form 100A. Under the ICPC, the action is considered closed once the action is completed and the sending state completes Form 100B. Failure to follow ICPC procedures and meet the requirements of either the sending or receiving state can lead to a child being returned to the jurisdiction of the sending state.

Moorestown DYFS Attorneys at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker Provide Experienced Counsel in Cases Involving ICPC

For questions regarding the ICPC and how it affects your DCPP/DYFS case, you can turn to our Moorestown DYFS attorneys at the Law Offices of Theodore J. Baker. To schedule a consultation, call 856-210-9776 or contact us online. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients in South Jersey, including Haddonfield, Marlton, Medford, Moorestown, Mount Laurel, and Voorhees.

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