How does the Interstate Compact work?

If an adoptive family is from state A (receiving state) and the baby is born in state B (sending state) ICPC applies.  In this situation: 


  • The family would travel to the sending state for the adoption of the child.
  • Before the family is allowed to leave the sending state, the adoption agency would submit (electronically or by Federal Express) the ICPC paperwork to the sending state’s ICPC office.
  • After the sending state has approved the adoption, all of the paperwork would then be forwarded (electronically or by Federal Express) to the receiving state’s ICPC office.
  • Once the receiving state has approved the paperwork, the family is notified of the approval, and only then can the family return to the family’s home state.
  • If ICPC is not followed, or the family leaves before ICPC approval, the adoption could be jeopardized and the child may need to be returned to the sending state.  Florida allows for the adoptive family to stay with the child during the wait.