Top 3 Adoption Laws Every State Abides By

The single most important factor in adoption is making sure that your adoption is ethical. With this, you will need to take care that all legal steps are taken throughout the adoption proceedings. You will be subject not only to the laws in your city, but also your state and country. While the federal government does leave some decision making in the hands of the state, there are many laws that govern adoption regardless of the state in which you reside. Here are the top 3 adoption laws every state abides by.

1. FBI Fingerprint Background Checks

One of the largest concerns about adoptive parents is making sure that they are suited to parent the child in question. In addition to a home study, interviews, and education, an FBI fingerprint background check is required in adoption to ensure that there is nothing in a prospective adoptive parent’s past that should exclude him or her from adopting. Some such exclusions include violence against children or the disabled, sexual crimes, domestic violence, and some degrees of assault. These checks will inform the adoption professional if any applicant or anyone in the home over the age of 18 has ever been arrested for or convicted of any crime and the details regarding that arrest or conviction so a qualifying decision can be made.


An ICPC, also known as the Interstate Compact of The Placement of Children, is a term you will become well-acquainted with if you adopt from out of state. According to, “ICPC is an agreement between all 50 states, Washington D.C., and the U.S. Virgin Islands. This compact oversees the transfer of a child from one state to another in an adoption or foster situation.” Essentially, ICPC protects anyone from transporting a child across state lines without the permission and notification of the government in the receiving and sending states. For many adoptive parents, this often seems like a drawn-out process, taking anywhere from a few days to many weeks, but it is incredibly necessary and important.  

3. Payments in Adoption 

Simply put, it is illegal to pay someone for their child. This is largely the reason that you have to utilize adoption experts to facilitate an adoption. Attempting to pay an individual for their child is human trafficking. An adoption agency and/or an adoption attorney will ensure that all payments made are for adoption services. The only payments that can be made to a birth mother is that for pregnancy-related expenses and some living expenses. However, all of these payments will go through the agency or adoption attorney in order to avoid any illegal payments or misunderstandings. It is also illegal to purchase gifts for birth parents that could be construed as tools of persuasion in an effort to ensure the child is placed with the gifter. There is some leeway for this through gifts of sentimental value and other similar gifts; however, it is best to consult an adoption attorney or agency before gifting anything.

Are you ready to pursue adoption? Visit or call 1-800-ADOPT-98 to connect with compassionate, nonjudgmental adoption specialists who can help you get started on the journey of a lifetime.