The Inter-State Adoption Process

Navigating the adoption process

Adopting a child is an incredibly rewarding experience. You’ll be brightening the life of both yourself and the child you bring into your life. The process of adoption can be confusing, and the rules can be alienating. Adopting a child from another state makes the process even more complicated. But don’t worry, it’s still very doable!

What does the Inter-State Adoption Process actually take?

First off, you need to find a child you wish to adopt. If they’re in another state, this could be because you’re the child’s relatives, or maybe you found their profile on an agency’s website. 

Then you need to go through the normal process of adoption. You’ll have your background looked into. If your background looks good and you are deemed a good fit, you’ll visit with the child and do the required paperwork.

Finally, a judge will finish the process, and you’ll have adopted your new child. So, you might ask, what makes the interstate adoption process different?

That’s a complicated question. You have to know the laws of both your state and the state you wish to adopt from. For example, if the state you are adopting from is an “agency state,” you’ll need to apply with a dedicated adoption agency.

If not, you can set up an adoption with a lawyer. Once you know that you’ve complied with the laws of your state and the state you wish to adopt from, you can proceed. 

Agents from the child’s state will fill out a bunch of information on the child. This includes information about the child’s medical, educational, and social history.

It will also include information about pending court cases that the child is entangled with. The agents’ package will also provide information on you so that your state makes sure that they’re looking into the right person when they take a look at you and your household.

ICPC Process

After the agents fill out the information, they send it to your home state’s ICPC office. The local office reviews the information. After they review the information and find it acceptable, they tell your agency to do a home study. 

Your agency will then decide whether or not they think you are a suitable household for your chosen child. If so, they will proceed to contact the ICPC offices, who will make their own final decision as to whether or not it would be beneficial to the child to be placed under your care.


Whatever the reason, you’ve decided to adopt a child from another state. As tricky as that seems, most of the extra effort is going to be handled by the ICPC without your input. 

Domestic adoption is a wonderful thing for both parent and child. Even though you’re looking outside of your own state, you’ll soon be on your way to giving your child a new home. So long as you remember to abide by the laws of both states, and provide a home that is nurturing and beneficial, you and your charge could have greatly improved lives full of love and delight.

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Angel Adoption, Inc. provides marketing and advertising services that assist biological parents considering adoption and prospective adoptive parents to connect with each other, and provides support and referral services throughout the process. Angel Adoption, Inc. is an independent contractor and provides services under the supervision of Lutheran Child and Family Services of Illinois, License #012998, One Oakbrook Terrace, #501, Oakbrook Terrace, IL 60181; 708-771-7180.