Department for Community Based Services

Standards of Practice Online Manual

13.53 Interstate Independent Adoption

Cabinet for Health and Family Services

Department for Community Based Services
Division of Protection and Permanency
Standards of Practice Online Manual
Chapter 13-Adoption Services
13.53 Interstate Independent Adoption

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Legal Authority/Introduction


In cases where either the child, birth parents or proposed adoptive parents are not Kentucky residents, the proposed adoptive family or their attorney requests that a licensed, private adoption agency conduct a face to face interview with the birth parent(s) or conduct an independent adoption home study on the proposed adoptive parents.  While requests for birth parent interviews or independent adoption home studies do not go through the interstate office, requests for the placement of a child (i.e. 100-A) must still go through the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC) process. Independent adoptions are not legal in every state. Many states require the applicants to contract with licensed, private adoption agencies for the required evaluations/interviews.

Kentucky Revised Statutes and administrative regulations state the child cannot be in the physical care, custody or control of the proposed adoptive family until they are in receipt of the written approval of the Cabinet. Only upon a finding by the Circuit or Family court, can the child be placed prior to the Cabinet’s written decision on the application. The Circuit or Family court may grant the applicant temporary custody of the child pending the Cabinet’s decision, but this provision cannot be used to circumvent the requirements of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.


The R&C worker:

  1. Provides the proposed adoptive family or their attorney all available information regarding the proposed placement, attaching copies of the completed DPP-187 Independent Adoption Application;
  2. Informs the proposed adoptive family or their attorney in writing of the type and amount of information needed;
  3. Requests that an adoptive home evaluation contain documentation regarding the topics included in Kentucky’s independent adoption home study outline;
  4. Ensures a copy of the outline is provided in the interstate request;
  5. Ensures the following specific information and attachments are included in addition to topics covered in an adoptive home study:
    1. An application to the agency and autobiographical information provided by the proposed adoptive parent or parents;
    2. Individual medical reports within one (1) year current to the date of application, signed by a physician on all members of the proposed adoptive parent’s household and including a physician’s statement regarding the applicant’s ability to parent;
    3. Two (2) non-relative personal reference letters, one (1) relative personal reference letter, and two (2) financial references;
    4. Clerk certified marriage verification, and, when appropriate, divorce or death verification(s) on previous spouses;
    5. Copy of a District court (or equivalent court) clerk records search;
    6. Child abuse/neglect check; and
    7. Information on how the applicants learned about the child for whom they have applied and what expenses (financial or services provided) have been expended or promised;
  6. Requests the same information gathered in Kentucky when birth parents or a legal father are to be interviewed;
  7. Ensures copies of and instructions to the DPP-191 Information to be Obtained from Placing Parent, DPP-191A Information to be Obtained from Placing Parent for Independent Adoptions and DPP-192 Biological Parent Consent Form are attached for the out of state workers use in recording the information; 1 
  8. Does not interview a resident of another state who may be temporarily found in Kentucky unless instructed to do so by the Kentucky ICPC compact administrator or their FSOS.
  9. The Kentucky SSW completes the Kentucky portion of the home study and sends the recording in triplicate to the appropriate Kentucky ICPC compact administrator without waiting to hear from the other state on the information requested in interstate independent adoption applications.
  10. The Kentucky ICPC administrator only accepts recordings sent in triplicate. 2  

Practice Guidance

  • The out of state private agency social worker asks the birth mother to name the birth father and provide his address, impressing upon her the importance of his being interviewed and providing background information, and a possible danger to the legality of the adoption when his parental rights are not legally addressed. 
  • If the mother refuses to, or cannot name the birth father, the out of state worker tries to obtain all possible background information on the father from the mother.
  • DCBS may deny the application if the custodial parent refuses to be interviewed by the appropriate out of state representative.
  • If after diligent efforts of the out of state private agency, the parents cannot be interviewed or if the information and material may not be obtained,  DCBS cannot be precluded from approving the placement provided the other requirements (signed 100-A, home study, etc.) have been met.

When an independent adoptive placement has been made in violation of the statutes:

  • A child from another state may not enter the state of Kentucky for a neutral home placement unless the neutral home provider is the child’s parent, step-parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, sibling or non-emergency guardian. 
  • Under ICPC federal law, even if the individual is now exempt under the expanded criteria, they are still required to obtain ICPC approval prior to placement.
  • If the child’s custodial parent or the persons wishing to receive the child reside out of state, the written approval of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children is given before the child’s placement with the proposed receiving family can occur.
  • If the child is found in the care of the proposed adoptive parents without a Circuit court order of temporary custody they are to be notified that they have the child in their home without written approval, and must arrange for the child’s placement in a neutral setting within forty-eight (48) hours.
  • If staff learns that a child from another state has entered the home of the proposed adoptive family prior to receiving approval for the placement, they immediately notify the ICPC compact administrator at 502-564-2147, and make arrangements for the child’s return to the sending state.
  • When the proposed adoptive parents have been advised of the need to make a neutral home placement within forty-eight (48) hours and refuse to do so and the child remains in their care, the SSW confers with the FSOS, SRA and central office staff regarding next steps to be taken.
  • As needed, central office staff confers with the Office of the General Counsel.


  1. The same procedure described above is followed in cases where the mother lives in a nearby town which is over the state line or when she plans to deliver in Kentucky, but is a resident of another state.
  2. Any recommendation for approval includes that the recommendation is contingent upon the requirements of the ICPC being met and no concerns being identified in the child’s medical or background information. Placements may be subject to denial if interstate compact compliance can not be achieved.


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