As you may know if you’ve done much research on adoption, adoption laws change across state lines. To understand exactly what the adoption laws in Louisiana are, we’ve compiled a sort of cheat sheet. For more information about Louisiana adoption laws, please call American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION.
Please note that, while this article is intended to educate you about adoption laws in Louisiana, it does NOT take the place of an attorney. This article does not serve as legal advice or representation.
Louisiana’s laws about adoption qualifications state that the following people can adopt:
A single person who is at least age 18
A married couple who petitions to adopt jointly
A stepparent, grandparent, step-grandparent, great-grandparent, or relatives within the twelfth degree as long as the individual:
Is related to the child being adopted
Is a single person age 18 or older or a married couple petitioning together
Has had custody of the child for at least six months preceding the adoption petition
If you are interested in foster parenting or adopting from Louisiana’s foster care system, you’ll need to meet the following requirements:
Not have more than five children under age 18
Have adequate bedroom space for an additional child
Have a safe home for the child, complete with a fire extinguisher and working smoke detectors
Medical statements that indicate you are healthy enough to raise a child. This includes mental health
Proof of income that is sufficient to raise an additional child
Louisiana state laws allow adoptive parents to pay for:
Medical expenses, including hospital, testing, nursing, pharmaceutical, and traveling expenses for prenatal care and other necessary medical expenses for the mother and child
Mental health counseling services for the birth parents or children for a reasonable time before and after placement
Living expenses for the mother until 45 days after the child is born
Court costs, including attorney fees and travel expenses, connected to the child’s adoption
Remember, however, that it is illegal in any state to offer money or anything of value in exchange for a woman placing her child for adoption.
If the adoption is competed by a licensed adoption agency, the birth parents can consent to adoption three days after the birth of the child. If the adoption is completed privately, the birth parents must wait five days after the birth of the child. A birth father can consent any time before or after the birth of the child, but this consent may be revoked until the fifth day after the birth of the child. If the birth father is an alleged or adjudicated father, he may consent any time prior to or after birth, but this consent will be irrevocable.
Before a birth parent can consent to their child’s adoption, he or she must participate in at least two counseling sessions with a social worker, psychiatrist, psychologist, or counselor. If the birth parent is under age 18, he or she must be joined by a parent or tutor to surrender custody, except when surrendering custody to a licensed agency.
Yes. Louisiana’s putative father registry allows a man to file an acknowledgment of paternity with the court. A mother and the child’s alleged father may file an acknowledgment of paternity together, after a notary informs them that either party has the right to request a genetic test. The alleged father has the right to consult with an attorney before he acknowledges paternity; if he does not acknowledge paternity, the mother can file a paternity suit.
Once a father signs the acknowledgment, he has the right to petition for custody or visitation with the child. He may also be required to support the child, and the child will be entitled to the same rights afforded to children born in wedlock, including inheritance rights.
In any state, anyone who wishes to adopt must first complete an adoption home study.
For more information about Louisiana adoption laws, call 1-800-ADOPTION.
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