Can You Choose an Adoptive Family from a Different State?

Yes. If you need to place your baby for adoption, you can choose whichever waiting adoptive family you feel is best, regardless of what state they live in. This is sometimes called an “interstate adoption,” and it’s actually very common.

If you’re interested in choosing an adoptive family from another state (or if you just want to view the widest possible selection of waiting adoptive parents) you should contact a national adoption agency as soon as possible. National agencies work with adoptive families throughout the U.S., so you’re more likely to find the right family (who can live in whatever state you choose) in less time. Smaller adoption agencies only work with adoptive families within a limited geographical area. If you’re ready to begin, you can start viewing profiles of adoptive families in various states here.

The most important thing to keep in mind when looking at a potential adoptive family for your baby is whether or not they feel right to you. The state they live in doesn’t matter nearly as much as whether or not you think they’d be the right parents for your child.

But, you may have some questions about finding adoptive parents in another state. You’re not alone. Other pregnant women have asked similar questions, including:

“How do I find an adoptive family who lives in another state?”

Contact a national adoption agency. Smaller, local agencies only work with families in your immediate area. Larger, national agencies work with adoptive families throughout the U.S., and they can help you find the right family in less time. You can even choose a family in a specific state, if you want. Start here.

“I just gave birth, but can people from another state adopt my baby? How quickly could they get here?”

Yes. If you see a waiting adoptive family whom you think is perfect for your baby, then you can choose them, even if they live in another state. Even if you’re choosing adoption last-minute, that family can be there in a matter of hours. Contact a national adoption agency as soon as possible. They work with families throughout the U.S., and can have a family by your side as quickly as possible.

“I want a bit more distance in my post-adoption relationship with my child and his or her parents. Can people from a different state adopt my baby?”

Yes. Some birth parents choose local adoptive families because they like the idea of staying relatively close for future open adoption visits. Other birth parents prefer a little more physical distance, often because they feel it will help them emotionally heal after placement. Whether they’re near or far, you can choose whichever adoptive family you feel is best. All of this is entirely up to you and your personal comfort level.

“Can you give a child up for adoption in a different state than the one the baby was born in?”

Yes. It doesn’t matter which state the adoptive family lives in. What matters is that you feel they’re “The Ones” for your child.

“I want to give my child up for adoption some place out of state. How does an out-of-state adoption process work?”

The adoption process is exactly the same, except with one added step for the adoptive family. Here’s how the adoption process works when you’re placing a baby with an out-of-state adoptive family:

The Interstate Adoption Process: Step-by-Step

So, if you were to choose an adoptive family that lives in another state, what would that adoption process look like? The only thing that actually changes is the addition of one step for the adoptive family. Here’s how the interstate adoption process goes:

Step 1: Contact a national adoption agency.

Here’s why this is important: They work with adoptive families from every state, not just within your state or city. Not all adoption agencies are licensed to complete adoptions across state lines, so choose one that is able to do this. Contact an adoption agency now.

Step 2: Choose the family.

When you contact a national adoption agency, you can describe what you’re looking for in your baby’s future parents, and they’ll show you specific adoption profiles of waiting parents that match your description. Or, you can use an online search tool, like this one, to find a family that matches what you’re looking for.

Step 3: Get to know each other.

Even though you live in different states, you can still communicate with the adoptive family over the phone, or they can even come to visit you. It’s entirely up to you and your comfort level. Relationships between birth and adoptive parents who live in different states can be just as strong as those who live in the same area.

Step 4: Complete placement.

After the birth of your baby, you’ll need to wait a state-mandated minimum amount of time before you can complete the legal adoption paperwork. If you decide to sign those documents, your baby will be placed with his or her parents and your adoption decision is permanent at that point.

Step 5: The adoptive parents complete ICPC.

Although it doesn’t affect you, this is the additional step in the legal process that an out-of-state adoptive family would need to complete. Anytime a child is adopted across state lines, the adoptive parents need to complete an extra legal step, in accordance with the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). Here’s how that works for the family:

After you’ve placed your baby with his or her parents, the family must wait in your state for about 1-2 weeks. They usually stay in a hotel and spend that time bonding with the newest addition to their family. During that time, your state and the adoptive family’s state are both checking to make sure the family has met the requirements within both states. During this step, many birth and adoptive families like to spend some time together before everyone returns home. Once both states have confirmed that everything looks good, the adoptive parents and baby can return home.

Step 6: Post-adoption life begins.

You’ll be discharged from the hospital within a few days of your delivery. Once the family’s ICPC wait is complete, they’ll return home, too. From there, your lives will resume, but that doesn’t mean an adoption journey is ever truly “over.” Many birth and adoptive families will go on to share a lifelong semi-open or open adoption relationship, staying in touch throughout the years.

As you can see, choosing adoptive parents from another state won’t affect your adoption experience, or make anything more complex for you. The only difference is that the parents will need to complete an extra legal step before returning home.

Thinking about searching for adoptive parents in a different state? Read on to find out about common reasons why some birth parents choose to place their baby with out-of-state adoptive parents:

Reasons Why You Might Choose Adoptive Parents Who Live in Another State

Every pregnant woman looks for something different in her version of the “perfect” adoptive parents for her baby. Some prospective birth parents want to find a family that lives in their state, because they’d like to have the option of more frequent open adoption visits in the future. For you, choosing a family in another state may feel right. That’s entirely your decision: There’s no “right” or “wrong” answer, there’s only the adoptive family that’s right for you!

Here are three of the most common reasons why pregnant women might be interested in finding an adoptive family who lives in another state:

  • They want to maintain some physical distance from their child and the family, because they feel it’s the best way to emotionally heal after placement.
  • They want to keep the adoption a secret from friends or family members, and they worry that choosing a local adoptive family could raise questions.
  • They simply liked that adoptive family the most! That perfect adoptive family just happens to live in another state.

Regardless of why you’re interested in choosing an adoptive family from another state, it’s always most important to choose the family you feel is best for your baby. Ready to find your baby’s future parents? Start browsing through online profiles of waiting and hopeful adoptive parents here. You can even search by state using the filter tool at the top. Or, contact an adoption agency directly to ask about placing your baby for adoption in another state.

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