Monday, September 9, 2013

Interstate Adoption Ain't What it Used to Be... What NOT to do When Adopting Across State Lines

Most of us know personally, or have heard of, someone who was "adopted" informally in the old days.

This used to happen among family members or close friends quite frequently.  A long time ago, people might just agree among themselves for a child to be raised by other family members or close friends, with little or no court involvement.

Adoption from one state to another wasn't always as regulated as it is now.    Today, we have many different levels of adoption law.  There is international law, U.S. law, and state law.   There are inter-country agreements and interstate compacts.

One such agreement, The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children ("ICPC"), requires a specific process that must be followed before a child from one state can be taken to another state for the purpose of adoption. This law also applies when a child is sent to another state for foster care, and for enrollment in some residential facilities.

Failing to follow the proper procedure can result in a Class C Misdemeanor, and/or in an adoption being denied by the courts.

There are a few limited exceptions for placement by family members with other family members, and in these certain situations, the ICPC does not apply.  

If you are thinking of making a placement or accepting a placement of a child over state lines for the purpose of foster care or adoption, make sure that you understand and follow the law about interstate placements.   You are advised to consult with an adoption and family law attorney who can help you avoid problems.

Kalish Law Office - The Woodlands, Texas  Adoption and Family Law Attorneys

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