Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
– Ralph Waldo Emerson
All fifty states in the continental U.S. are members of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) agreement. In short, the ICPC is a paperwork office that oversees children to be adopted across state lines. The state of New York joined the compact in 1960. To learn more about what the ICPC is and how it affects adoption, please click this link.
In order for the ICPC to go smoothly, documents are sent by the sending state (the state in which the child was born) to their states ICPC office. Once approved, that office forwards the paperwork to the New York ICPC office, where they are again reviewed to make sure they meet NY standards.
Length of Process
The wait time associated with the ICPC is typically 1-2 weeks and can breed and fuel much frustration. New York typically approves the ICPC within a few days, often the same day of receipt. Any missing information from the sending state could also delay the progress; but, overall, Adoption Choices of New York handles the ICPC process quickly and efficiently.
Bond with Your Baby
You are away from home. The call of your daily routine has temporarily been put on hold. You don’t have to be at work, or run around with the endless errands. There are no household chores or cleaning that needs to be done. No events to plan for. Take advantage of this time with your baby without all of those distractions.
Caring for a new baby is exhausting, even with help. Before returning home, and life resumes its usual happenings, spend time with your child. Bond with him or her. Document your first visits with pictures and journal entries. Make lasting memories. This is time you’ll never get once the routines of life at home and friends and family drop in to see the baby and spend time with you and the new family member.
Explore Child’s Birth Location
The state your child is born is an integral part of their adoption story. After all, it’s where their first breath and moments of life occurred. So, while you’re there, be sure to take the time and explore the town. See the sights. Taste the food. Get a glimpse of what life is like there. Take lots of pictures.
This will help pass the time, and ease stress levels. Remaining in your hotel room the whole time, and staring at the phone will only heighten the impatience and anxiety.
Be sure you allow yourself to have a well-rounded experience during your stay in your child’s birth state. Also, as fun as it will be to spend time with your baby, jumping into parenthood — especially if it’s your first time — can be overwhelming and exhausting.
Create a blog or Facebook page. Write in a journal. Max out your phone’s camera space. Capture video clips of your visit and journey. Whatever you can do — document your experience, and compile everything to share with your child later.
Again, the town and state where your child is born is important. If the birth city has any interesting historical facts, or the state any crucial landmarks, document that. Your child will thank you.
Remember while you are out exploring remain flexible, don’t travel too far outside of the area and never cross a state line. You’ll always want to be within a safe radius to complete any additional legal steps to wrap up the ICPC process. Depending on your circumstances, your adoption professional may, for instance, require additional documentation to gain ICPC approval. Or, he or she may need more signatures on documents or a birth parent and you may agree to meet one last time.
Whatever the reason, sticking close by and always being available is something adoption professionals greatly appreciate.
Relax and Enjoy Experience
In the midst of heightened emotions, relaxing and enjoying yourself can be — arguably — the hardest thing to do out of the rest. However, remaining positive and calm is the greater secret of passing the time and surviving the otherwise tedious waiting period.
Patience is not easy, but just think, years down the road, when your child asks you about their adoption and you’re put in that moment of reflection…what will you remember? What words of wisdom will you impart to them? The stress of waiting and trying to hurry time? Or, will you be able to tell them details about what the journey of getting them meant to you? Share facts and pictures of the town they grow up in and conversations with and impressions of their birth parents, if that’s an option.
Keep in mind, you are going home – soon. Your journey through parenthood has just begun.
Adoption Choices of New York
For more information on adoption or if you are currently in the process of adopting a baby and have any questions or concerns, feel free to contact, Adoption Choices of New York.
Support Adoption Choices
Adoption Choices, Inc. is partnering with Crowdrise, a fundraising website for nonprofits, to help our adoptive parents and birth parents with much needed financial assistance. We understand that expenses keep clients from fulfilling their dreams. Both with birth parents making a plan for adoption, and with adoptive parents growing their family. It is our mission to provide financial assistance through grants and scholarships, awarded annually in November, in honor of National Adoption Month. Funds assist adoptive parents with matching and placements, adoption finalization and helping birth mothers improve their lives through higher education — and much more.
But, we can’t do it alone. Please read up on our programs and donate money where you are able. Your donation will make a huge impact.
About the Author
Rachel Robertson is a published journalist, book editor, certified Publishing Specialist, and aspiring novelist. She graduated from Central Washington University (CWU) in March 2011, having found her writing voice within the Creative Nonfiction genre and grew to work as a freelance book editor for small presses all across the United States.
In June 2018, she embarked on an internship with Virginia Frank and came on board with Adoption Choices Inc., Not for Profit 501(c)(3), in December 2018. Between her mutual passion with adoption and surrogacy, and her own personal history with adoption, Rachel is excited to research and share topics each week that will spread awareness and better serve the faithful patrons of Adoption Choices Inc.
When Rachel isn’t haunting her local Starbucks or Barnes and Noble, she’s avidly pouring over her Writer’s Digest subscription or cozying up with a cup of tea and book. She currently resides in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her beloved wife and Border Collie.
Adoption, Lifetime. “Adoptive Families Blog.” Symbol of Adoption, blog.lifetimeadoption.com/adoptivefamilies/practical-tips-to-make-waiting-for-icpc-clearance-a-beautiful-time.
“Considering Adoption.” The Best Source for Adoption Information, consideringadoption.com/adoptive-family/7-things-to-do-during-your-icpc-wait.
“Office of Children and Family Services.” Child Care Resource and Referral Agencies | Division of Child Care Services | OCFS, ocfs.ny.gov/adopt/interstate_compact_Placement_of_Children.asp.
“Surviving the ICPC Wait.” Adoptions From The Heart, 12 Apr. 2017, afth.org/surviving-icpc-wait/.