The Interstate Compact on Placement of Children (ICPC) is a contract among member states and U.S. territories authorizing them to work together to ensure that children who are placed across state lines for foster care or adoption receive adequate protection and support services. Any child who moves across state lines for the purpose of adoption must comply with ICPC.

All states are members of the ICPC. The purpose of the ICPC is to ensure that if a child is moved across state lines, that child’s rights are protected as if they were in their home state, and that all legal requirements are observed. It is designed to provide a monitoring mechanism during the transition and placement of the child in another state, ensure the child receives services, ensure compliance with the laws of each state, and to provide the child with an alternative should the placement prove not to be in their best interest or if the need for out-of-state services ends. It is illegal to move a pre-adoptive child across state lines without meeting the requirements of the ICPC.

In Iowa, the following requirements need to be completed to comply with ICPC: Form 100A, biographical information on birth parents, child’s medical records, three hours of counseling for the birth mother, a copy of the termination of parental rights or legal risk acknowledgement, release of custody of birth mother and birth father, home study of the adoptive couple, and a Native American heritage disclosure. Each state may have different requirements.

The adoption agency of the attorney will typically complete the necessary paperwork to comply with ICPC. The process starts in the state the child was born or currently resides (the sending state), and moves to the state in which the child will be moving to (the receiving state). Upon careful review and evaluation, the receiving state approves or denies the placement by sending notice of its decision to the sending state. If approved, procedures are initiated to place the child in the receiving state.

For more information on ICPC, or if you have any questions regarding adoption or any other legal matter, please contact David A. Grooters at Pappajohn, Shriver, Eide & Nielsen P.C., 103 East State Street, Suite 800, Mason City, Iowa 50401; (641) 423-4264; or visit