Louisiana Birth Father Rights in Adoption

I want to put my baby up for adoption but the father doesn’t. Does the father have to give consent for adoption in Louisiana? Is adoption in Louisiana possible without knowing who the father is? Can a child be adopted without the father’s consent in LA?

Occasionally, we receive questions such as these at American Adoptions. An unsupportive or unknown birth father can affect your ability to pursue adoption, so it’s entirely reasonable to want to speak with someone about your options. Please know that this article does not serve as legal advice; rather, it exists solely to give you a background on adoption without parental consent in Louisiana.

What is the legal definition of a father in Louisiana?

Louisiana state laws define a parent as any living person who is presumed to be a parent, a biological mother or father, or an adoptive mother or father.

Does Louisiana have a putative father registry?

Yes, Louisiana does have a paternity registry, or a way for unmarried alleged fathers to claim paternity. The Department of Health and Hospitals has a putative rather registry that records the names and addresses of any of the following:

  • Any person declared to be the father of the child by a Louisiana court

  • Any person declared to be the father by any other United States territory or state, where a certified copy of the court order has been filed with the registry

  • Anyone who has filed with the registry an acknowledgment of paternity

  • Any person who has filed with the registry that the father has either formally or informally acknowledged the child born outside of marriage

What rights does an alleged father have after acknowledging paternity?

Yes. Prior to anyone acknowledging paternity, a notary shall inform the mother and the alleged father making the acknowledgment that:

  • Either of them has the right to request a genetic test to determine the child’s biological father

  • The alleged father has the right to consult with an attorney before acknowledging paternity

  • If the alleged father does not wish to acknowledge the child, the mother can file a paternity suit to determine the child’s father.

  • After an alleged father signs an acknowledgment of paternity, he has the right to visitation with the child as well as the right to pursue custody.

  • After a father has signed an acknowledgment of paternity, he may be obligated to provide support for the child.

  • After an acknowledgment of paternity has been signed, the child will have inheritance rights, as well as any other rights received by children born in wedlock.

What information does an alleged father have to provide to claim paternity in Louisiana?

For a man to claim paternity of the child in Louisiana, he must provide:

  • His current address

  • A notification of any change of address

  • Both his and the mother’s Social Security numbers

So to put a baby up for adoption in Louisiana, does the dad need to agree?

Louisiana birth father rights in adoption are important and not to be ignored. If you aren’t confident that the father of your baby will be supportive of your adoption plan, it’s always a good idea to go over this with your American Adoptions adoption specialist before speaking to the child’s father about your intent to place your child for adoption. Remember, the pregnancy itself may be a pretty big surprise; telling him about the baby at the same time as telling him about your adoption plan may require some sensitivity.

The best route, of course, is always to discuss important news like this in person. However, not everyone has an ideal relationship with their child’s father. If explaining the situation over phone or in a letter makes more sense, make sure to do so carefully and calmly and understand that this may all come as quite a shock to him. If you feel unsafe around the father of your child, do not attempt to contact him alone. Your adoption specialist will help you to determine an ethical and legal way to inform him of your plan without putting yourself in harm’s way.

Please know that this article does not serve as legal advice, nor does it take the place of an attorney. To learn more about birth father rights in adoption in Louisiana, please contact American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION. 





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