Adoptive parents adopting across state lines must follow the guidelines of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC), a statutory agreement between all fifty states that governs the placement of children from one state to another. Parents can return to their home state with their baby, after the required paperwork is gathered and ensures the laws of both stated have been observed in the adoption process. On average, the ICPC process can take up to a week, but may last longer. This means parents will have to cope with the challenges of caring for a newborn while being away from home.

Jumping straight into parenthood can be difficult, especially if you are out of your comfort zone. However, we have a few tips that might make the ICPC wait a little easier for both you and baby.

Pack the essentials

You’ll need to bring baby basics, such as, blankets, burp cloths, diapers, sleepers, onesies, etc. However other parents also suggested to bring, a pack n play, a bassinet, or any other safe space for baby to sleep.

You may also want to bring:

  • Bottles
  • Baby bath products, shampoo, lotion
  • Socks and booties
  • Diaper bag
  • Stroller
  • Baby wipes
  • Car seat
  • Changing pad

And don’t forget to pack for yourself. Consider bringing enough clothing (to last you for more than a week), personal hygiene products, any required documents, snacks, a journal and a good book.


Deciding on where to stay is crucial when waiting out the ICPC process. It’s important to determine what space will suit the needs of you and your family when searching for the right housing.

Extended stays, suites or Airbnb’s are great for adoptive families during the ICPC wait. They often have more space than a traditional hotel room, which can be more comfortable for you and the baby.

Keep in mind that you may be waiting for at least 7 business days, so it’s important to make sure that where you stay has things like, a washer/dryer or laundry service, a kitchen or kitchenette, free breakfast, etc.

Make the most of it

Now is the perfect time to bond with your baby, without the interruption of your daily routine. Discover what ways baby likes to be held, her sleep pattern, and other likes and dislikes. You can also document your first few days together, by writing in a journal or taking lots of photos.

Always remember that your survived the adoption process and you can survive this too. Celebrate your baby and your new journey that is parenthood.