The Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children addresses adoptions where a child is to be transferred across state lines. It creates uniform legal and administrative procedures for interstate adoption matters. All U.S. states are members of the Compact. The Compact has existed for approx. forty years. The state where the child presently resides must approve of the transfer across the state lines for placement. A copy of the approval is then submitted to the court for filing. In order to get approval, a packet must be created containing key information on the child, the prospective parent(s) and the intended place of residence. For example, the child’s social, medical, and educational history should be discussed.

After the sending state is satisfied that the packet covers all the relevant areas, it is sent to the receiving state for their review as well. The receiving state would be responsible for having a home study completed for the intended residence typically through the local social services agency. If the receiving state is satisfied following the home study, it notifies the sending state as well as sends a copy of the home study. At that time, following approval by both states involved, the interstate adoption may be completed. The Pennsylvania office of the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children is located in Harrisburg and can be reached at (717)772-5503 for non-agency placements or (717)772-5502 for agency placements.

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