Guide to Adoption in Nevada - Interstate Adoptions

The State or County agency, which provides child welfare services, or a licensed child-placing agency, can assist birth parents planning to place their child out-of-state, and provide services to Nevada families planning to adopt children from another state. Arrangements to place children across state lines must follow the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) regulations, and a State/County worker or private agency social worker must be involved to help with this procedure. Placement laws may differ from state to state, birth parents, prospective adoptive parents, and attorneys handling interstate adoptions are encouraged to contact a State/County or private agency as soon as possible regarding the home study and placement requirements. Compact requirements should be discussed early in the adoption plan so that the placement is not delayed. Nevada’s ICPC Deputy Compact Administrator can be reached at (775) 684-4418.

Basic Guidelines to Be Followed:

Nevada children leaving the state for adoptive placement.

Birth parent(s) who have arranged to place their child for adoption with a family who resides outside the State of Nevada (or the attorney handling the adoption for the prospective adoptive parents), must contact the State/County or private agency in their area and advise them of the intended placement plan. A worker will be assigned to help the birth parent(s) with the out-of-state (ICPC) placement paperwork, obtain the social and medical history information to be provided to the adoptive parents, and provide other related adoption counseling services.

The ICPC referral is actually a request from the birth parent(s) for a home study to be completed on the family they have selected. As this is a private, open adoption, the names, addresses and telephone numbers of all parties must be listed. This request is signed by the birth parent(s) and forwarded through the ICPC compact administrator in the birth parent(s) residence state; to the state ICPC administrator in the state where the prospective adoptive parents reside.

The home study for the out-of-state family must be approved by both the sending state (Nevada) and receiving state (other state), before the child can be placed with the adoptive family. If the home study has not been approved by both states at the time of the child’s birth, the birth parent may choose to take the child home, agree to a temporary foster home placement, or under some circumstances, the hospital may agree to care for the baby for a very short period of time.

If the family has been approved and the birth parent(s) feel that adoption is still best for their child, they may sign the Consent to Adopt to the specific family they have chosen to adopt their child. The consent documents are provided by the adoptive family’s attorney and cannot be signed less than 72 hours following the birth of the child. Birth parents have the right to read the home study before signing the consents. Once consents are signed, the home study is approved, and the ICPC requirements are met, the child can be placed with the adoptive parents. Nevada law requires that a licensed social worker witness the signing of any Consent to Adopt (other than when one of the adoptive parents is related to the child within the third degree of consanguinity).

The birth parents and adoptive parents may make their own independent arrangements for ongoing contact. The social worker remains available to provide post placement counseling services to the birth parent(s).

In the event the adoptive family selected for placement is not approved or the family withdraws from the arrangement, the birth parent(s) may ask the State/County or private agency for placement assistance. Remember, both the public and private agencies have lists of adoptive families approved and waiting to adopt that the birth parents may consider. The birth parent(s) may also select another family.

Children from other states entering Nevada for adoptive placement.

The procedure for Nevada families planning to adopt a child from out of state is as follows:

  • The State/County or private agency must receive written notification of the birth parent(s) intent to place their child with the Nevada family. The birth parents will sign the ICPC referral to request a home study on the Nevada family.
  • The adoption agency will then begin the application and home study process. Sixty days are allowed to complete the home study, so it is important that the agency be notified well in advance of the baby’s birth or intended date of placement
  • A copy of the completed home study is sent through ICPC channels in Nevada to the birth parent(s)’ home state for approval.
  • When both states have approved the placement, Consents to Adopt are signed by the birth parent(s), and then the child can be released for placement in Nevada.
  • The agency social worker will supervise the placement pending court finalization, which may occur in either state.

For further information about interstate adoption, contact the ICPC Deputy Compact Administrator in your state. Each state has one and your assigned social worker should be able to assist you. If you are planning your adoption through a private attorney or other adoption agency, these individuals are also required to advise both the birth and prospective adoptive parents that compact requirements must be followed before the child can be placed.