Monday, January 4, 2016


    ICPC (or the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children) is one of the most unpredictable parts of the legal half of the adoption process in terms of trying to make a timeline and figure out logistical plans. In a nutshell, ICPC is the process that supervises placing a child born in one state into the care of parents who plan to transport that child to another state, given that each state is given quite a bit of freedom in developing their own adoption laws and protocols. As adoptive parents, you cannot legally leave the state that the child was born in until you have received ICPC clearance.

    The length of ICPC varies greatly by state. The state that Baby Girl was born in has a notoriously slow ICPC reputation, usually taking a minimum of 2 weeks before the adoptive parents are given clearance to leave the state. In the past few months, this has been backed up even further, and we were told to expect 15-18 business days (3-4 weeks given that we are around the holidays). We were advised to basically plan on spending the entire month of January in the state of birth. Plans were made, condos were reserved (we have some very generous people in our lives!), and we got here with the intention of settling in for a month.
     And then history was made. For the first time in the record of interstate adoptions in this state, ICPC was processed in less than 24 hours. Anne signed her paperwork Tuesday at 10, we signed our paperwork Tuesday at 11, and the paperwork was registered with the state for preliminary ICPC approval by Wednesday morning. I say "preliminary" because 99% of the time, this state will not give a full ICPC approval until the baby is discharged from the hospital. At about 7 in the evening on Wednesday, I received a phone call that our ICPC was approved and we were free to leave as soon as Baby Girl was released from the hospital. In shock, I emailed both our caseworker and Anne's caseworker, certain that there must have been a mistake. Anne's caseworker called someone (I'm unclear who exactly the Powers That Be are in this situation) and had them visually confirm that the paperwork was actually done while she was on the phone, just to make sure that it wasn't an error or incorrect entry in the computer system. Sure enough, it was done. Her only guess was that we got lucky enough to be assigned to two judges (the one in this state and the one in our home state) who both wanted to have their dockets cleared by the end of the year (December 31st was Thursday) and had scrambled to get caught up and keep everything pushed through to start January 1st with a clean slate.
      Everyone is kind of in shock, but we are happy that we will be able to head home this week. The reason that we didn't leave right away is that Baby Girl's doctor in the hospital wanted her to be seen one more time on Monday morning after releasing her Friday afternoon. Since the risk window for opiod withdrawal isn't truly over until 2 weeks after birth, he wanted a pretty quick follow-up to verify that she really was okay being sent home after the 5 day observation period. We were given a clean bill of health this morning (thank you, Lord!), complete with a confirmation that she is healthy enough to travel.
     And thus concludes our quick and painless experience with ICPC! :)

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