What You Need To Know About Interstate Adoptions

Adopting a child is an exciting time for you and your family. While most of family law involves contentious divorces and child custody battles, the attorneys at Smith, Lehberger & Bodie are passionate about bringing families together and ushering in a new chapter.

When you wish to adopt a child from another state, however, the process can be complicated for you to navigate alone. There are several parts of the process that are different when adopting a child from another state than when you adopt from within Tennessee.

There are more requirements than in-state adoptions

Adoptions between state lines are subject to the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC), a federal law that acts as a guideline for interstate adoptions. Rather than follow one state's laws, you must work between both states as well as this federal law to officiate the adoption.

It can take days, even weeks, to process these approvals. And until your adoption is approved, you cannot bring the child home with you to your own state.

You will almost always need a home study

While many adoptions in Knoxville and across Tennessee require a home study to be done, this is especially true for interstate adoptions, as it is specified within the ICPC. Unless you are a close relative, the Department of Children's Services must document the readiness of your family to adopt the child. Only when deemed capable and prepared to adopt can you continue with your adoption.

Both states will need to approve your adoption

As you are adopting from one state and bringing the child to another, you will need to gain approval from both states in order to officiate the adoption. This may be difficult when you don't live in the state of the child you're looking to adopt.

Adoption Doesn't Have To Be Complicated. We Can Help.

Our lawyers have guided numerous Tennessee families through the adoption process, making adoption painless and worry-free for everybody involved. Learn more about how we can help you — call our offices at 865-643-8626, or reach out online to get started.