The First Department, reversing Family Court, in a full-fledged opinion by Justice Webber, in a matter of first impression, and refusing to follow the Second Department, determined that the Interstate Compact for the Placement of Children (ICPC) applies only to children to be adopted or placed in foster care in another state, not, as here, to the placement of a child with the father in another state. The issue was considered on appeal as an exception to the mootness doctrine because it is likely to reoccur. The First Department held that the controlling statute, Social Services Law 374-a, clearly states that the ICPC applies only to out of state foster care or adoption, and the regulation which states otherwise (Association of Administrators of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children. AAICPC, Regulation 3) improperly expands the statutory language:
There is no dispute that the ICPC was intended to provide children in need of foster and adoptive families with more possible placements across state lines. The purpose of the statute was twofold: to assure the placement would be in a child’s best interests, and to preclude the “sending State from exporting its foster care responsibilities to a receiving State” … . Thus the ICPC was enacted to provide children in need of foster and adoptive families with more options, while still paying heed to concerns about the children’s welfare.
There is also nothing in the language of the statute or the legislative history to indicate that the ICPC was ever intended to address any individual other than an out-of-state foster or adoptive parent. The language explicitly limits its applicability to out-of-state placements in foster care or as a preliminary to a possible adoption … . The limitation reflects the ICPC’s purpose which was to provide “a uniform legislative framework for the placement of children across state lines in foster and/or adoptive homes” … . Matter of Emmanuel B. (Lynette J.), 2019 NY Slip Op 05640, First Dept 7-18-19