Adoption Q&A #11
Can out-of-state adopting parents take physical placement of the child before the termination of parental rights hearing?
In some cases, yes. For years, §48.837(4), Stats., was read to not permit placement of a child with prospective adoptive parents before the termination of parental rights and adoptive placement approval hearings had occurred. An interpretation by the Department of Health and Family Services has resulted in a conclusion that an in-state adoptive couple with a completed home study and a Wisconsin foster home license would be eligible to take a child in placement from the time of birth to the time of the court hearing terminating parental rights and approving placement. However, because an out-of-state couple is not a licensed Wisconsin foster home under §48.62, Stats., the out-of-state couple would not be entitled to take placement until they have been approved for placement by the court and the termination of parental rights of the birth parents has occurred.
It is possible due to a recent legislative change for out-of-state adopting parents with an acceptable home study to take placement of a Wisconsin baby before the termination of parental rights hearing. They have to remain in Wisconsin until ICPC (Interstate Compact for Placement of Children) clearance after termination of parental rights. In rare cases, adopting parents may return home in the interim.