When the adoptive home deemed most suitable to meet the child's needs is located in another county or state; or when, after placement has occurred, the adoptive parents are transferred to another county or state prior to the issuance of the Decree for Adoption, supervisory services need to be requested to assure satisfactory adjustment of the family and protection of the child. When the move is to another state, the requirements and procedures of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children must be followed. (See Children’s Services Manual, Chapter XI, Interstate/Intercountry Services to Children)
Note: The Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) requires that any child that is a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe or is eligible for membership or is the biological child of a tribal member must be cleared by the appropriate tribe before consideration of intra or interstate adoption services.
1. Agency Placement
If a family from another county is selected for a child, there should be an Inter-Agency Adoption Agreement (DSS-1798) concerning responsibilities for placement, continuing casework services, and supervision between the two involved agencies before a placement is made. This agreement will promote collaboration between the agencies in order to ensure that all required services are coordinated and provided to the adoptive family, in accordance with applicable state and federal laws and policies.
Post-placement supervision is provided by the agency that has been providing adoption services to the adoptive applicants. This agency should submit written reports on a regular basis as mutually agreed upon between the agencies containing specific information about the placement's progress. The supervising agency is responsible for advising the family about the legal process and for filing reports required by law.
2. Family Moves
When adoptive families move out of the county before the adoption has been completed, the supervising agency needs to request supervisory services from an appropriate agency in the family's new place of residence. Adequate supervision is dependent on an early referral and request for supervision. The agency requesting the assistance has responsibility for providing copies of the preplacement assessment, child's summary, and post-placement progress reports to the new supervising agency, and also for indicating the number of supervisory visits and reports that will be needed.
1. Agency Placements
The child's agency must follow the same procedures in making decisions for placement and in planning for and arranging interstate adoptive placements as in deciding, planning for, and arranging in-state adoptive placements for children for whom it has placement authority, with the following addition:
Note: ICWA takes precedence over the ICPC and a child who is either a member of a federally recognized Indian tribe, is eligible for membership or is the biological child of a tribal member must be cleared by the appropriate tribe before consideration of intra or interstate services.
a. In the case of a child going from North Carolina to another state, written consent for placement must be obtained from the receiving state's ICPC office prior to the child's placement in that state.
Materials and documents needed as a basis for approval include:
• Interstate Compact Placement Request (ICPC-100A-DSS-1837);
• Cover letter to request services and to provide explanation for the request;
• Child's pre-adoptive summary, including background information about the biological family, information about the child's previous placements, current medical, psychological evaluation, special needs, school reports, etc.;
• Pre-placement assessment on prospective adoptive parents;
• Copies of the child's legal clearance documents and birth certificate;.
• Information regarding the child's eligibility for adoption assistance.
These items must be sent to the ICPC Section of the North Carolina Division of Social Services in triplicate for appropriate transmittal to the other state.
Frequently, it will be desirable or essential that the home to which the child is going be licensed (or "approved," the term used in some states) as a foster home. For North Carolina's children going to other states, the home must be licensed or approved if foster care payments are to be continued until finalization of the adoption; and/or the child is being placed on a "legal risk" bases.
b. When another state's child is placed with a North Carolina family, the requirements of the Interstate Compact outlined above must be followed by the placing agency. The receiving agency, which may be a private agency or county of residence of the adoptive family, shall be responsible for complying with requests for reports.
2. Independent Placements
An independent placement is one in which the child is placed for adoption by the parent or legal guardian directly with the adopting family when the child is not in the custody of a county DSS or private child placing agency.
The provisions of N.C.G.S. §7B-3800, the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), apply to independent adoptive placement situations. Departments of social services may provide the needed services in obtaining sufficient information on the prospective adoptive parents, birth parents, and child to serve as a basis for approval of the placement and prepare the pre-placement assessment as required by law.
A placement can be approved if the assessment and background information indicate that the adoption plan is a voluntary one on the part of the birth parents and that they understand their rights and are satisfied with the plan, that the child appears to be a suitable subject for adoption, that the proposed adoptive family appears to be a suitable one for the child, and that so far as can be determined, proper consents necessary for a valid adoption have been, or can be, obtained.
3. When Adoptive Families Move After Placement, Prior to Decree of Adoption
When adoptive families move from North Carolina or to North Carolina before entry of the Decree of Adoption, requests for assistance of agencies in the new residence must be directed through the Interstate Services Section of the Division of Social Services, for transmittal to the counterpart agency in the other state. This applies to all adoptive placements -- not just to agency placements. The Interstate Compact Placement Request (ICPC-100A–DSS-1837) must be submitted, along with all information and materials mentioned in the above paragraphs. The ICPC-100A must be signed by the agency having placement authority or court ordered supervisory responsibility for the child. It is expected that the new state of residence will provide the family with appropriate adoption services and will submit timely reports to the sending state.
All changes in status for interstate adoptive placements require notification to the Interstate ICPC Section of the Division of Social Services. The changes are submitted on the Interstate Compact Report on Child's Placement Status (ICPC-100B–DSS-1838).
For questions or clarification on any of the policy contained in these manuals, please contact your local county office.