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February 2020   |   Archive   |   National Adoption Month   

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Interjurisdictional Placements

When a child is placed in out-of-home care, it is imperative that child welfare agencies find a safe, permanent home for them as quickly as possible. When deciding which placement is in a child’s best interest, it is important to assess all potential families for their parental capacity and ability to meet the child’s needs. Many times, child welfare professionals prefer to place a child in a home in or near the community where the child is originally from, but when a placement in their community is not available or the right match, it might be necessary to widen the search and consider out-of-State placements.

Technology, such as social media or websites such as AdoptUsKids, that includes pictures of and information about children available for adoption has made it easier to find suitable families. However, interjurisdictional issues can have an impact on planning and achieving permanency. Interjurisdictional placements require additional communication and coordination across child-serving agencies. To ensure location is not a deterrent to children achieving permanency, there are Federal laws and tools to aid in the placement of children across State lines:

  • The Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) establishes procedures for ensuring the safety and stability of interjurisdictional placements.
  • The Interstate Compact on Adoption and Medical Assistance (ICAMA) ensures continuity of adoption assistance payments for children in interjurisdictional placements.
  • The National Electronic Interstate Compact Enterprise (NEICE) is a national electronic system that enables the exchange of information required by the ICPC. The Family First Prevention Services Act requires all States to have an electronic interstate processing system by 2027.

AdoptUsKids developed a webpage to help professionals better understand the Federal laws governing interjurisdictional placements and the steps involved in facilitating them. The materials include resources to promote interstate collaboration, such as State child abuse registries and border agreements, as well as a webinar on ICAMA and facilitating adoption support services, especially Medicaid.


3 Resources on Interjurisdictional Placements

The Interstate
Compact on Adoption

and Medical Assistance

By AdoptUSKids


Interjurisdictional Placements


By Child Welfare
Information Gateway

Interstate Issues in Adoption Assistance


By North American Council on Adoptable Children



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