April 6, 2023

April 2023

Pursuant to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (§ 17a175), which governs the placement of a child in a home in another state, no child shall be sent or brought or caused to be sent or brought into another state ‘‘for placement in foster care or as a preliminary to a possible adoption unless the sending agency shall comply with each and every requirement set forth in this article and with the applicable laws of the receiving state governing the placement of children therein.’’

Mother appealed the trial court’s decision granting Father’s motion to revoke the commitment of their three minor children, and approving the permanency plan requested by DCF to reinstate guardianship in Father and vest co-guardianship in the children’s paternal aunt. At the time the children were removed from Mother’s care and committed to DCF, Father and the aunt resided in Florida. On appeal, Mother claimed that the court improperly determined that the ICPC did not apply under the facts of this case including, inter alia, that Father has cognitive limitations, which occasioned the appointment of the aunt as co-guardian, and that DCF had previously sought to terminate the parental rights of both parents.

The Court here held that the trial court properly determined that the ICPC did not apply to the present case.  By its plain and unambiguous language, the compact’s applicability is limited to the out-of-state placement of children ‘‘in foster care or as a preliminary to a possible adoption,’’ and the court’s reunification of the children with Father did not constitute either foster care or adoption.  The appointment of the aunt as co-guardian did not convert the reunification into foster care or adoption, as the ruling to vest co-guardianship in the aunt was made in conjunction with the reinstatement of Father’s guardianship, which fell outside the express provisions of the statute.