Adoption By City

How to Adopt in Louisiana

Louisiana isn't just home to the world famous Mardi Gras celebration; it's also home to many families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey. Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be your guide to all things adoption in Louisiana.

What you need to know about adopting a baby in Louisiana

To get started on your adoption journey, it is important to understand some of the fundamental aspects and frequently asked questions about the process. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption in Louisiana.

What are the laws and requirements for adopting a baby in Louisiana?

To become an Adoptive Parent in Louisiana, you must be at least 18 years old. You may adopt if you are a single person, but married couples must petition jointly. You must also be able to prove the following:

  • United State citizenship or legal alien status
  • Sufficient income to provide care for the child
  • Good physical and mental health to care for the child
  • Completion of Adoptive Parent training

In addition to these requirements, your home must:

  • Have a working telephone
  • Have a secure place for hazardous chemicals or weapons
  • Have working smoke detectors and fire extinguishers
  • Have restricted areas for dangerous animals

How much does it cost to adopt a baby in Louisiana?

Expenses related to adoption in Louisiana range widely depending on the type of adoption you decide to pursue. Are you looking to adopt internationally or domestically? Through a private agency or the foster care system? Depending on what you decide, Adoptive Parents may be asked to cover adoption-related expenses such as:

  • Medical expenses for the Birth Mother in relation to the pregnancy and birth of the child
  • Medical expenses for the child
  • Counseling services for a Birth Parent for a reasonable time before and after the child’s placement
  • Reasonable living expenses incurred by the Birth Mom during her pregnancy and up to 45 days after she gives birth to the child
  • Court costs, attorney and agency fees
  • Travel expenses
  • Any other payments found reasonable and necessary by the courts

How do you become a Foster Parent in Louisiana?

The minimum qualifications to become Foster Parent in Louisiana are as follows:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Single, married, divorced, or widowed
  • Complete a home study assessment
  • Complete 21 hours of pre-service training
  • Have financial stability to support a foster child
  • Have adequate living space for the child
  • Have good mental, physical and emotional health

The steps in the Foster Parent certification process include:

  • Attending an orientation meeting
  • Completing 7 sessions of pre-service training
  • Submitting an application for certification
  • Having all adults living in the household fingerprinted
  • Completing the home study process with 3 home visits
  • Providing 5 references

What is a facilitator and is it legal to use their services for adoption in Louisiana?

An adoption facilitator specializes in matching prospective Adoptive Families with expectant mothers; however, they are usually unlicensed and unregulated.

In Louisiana, it is illegal for any person or entity to receive a payment of any kind for assisting in the surrender of a child for adoption. A petitioner, agency, attorney, or other intermediary may not make any payment in connection with an adoptive placement other than for reasonable medical, administrative, living, or other expenses.

Click here to read about the difference between adoption agencies, attorneys, and facilitators.

What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in Louisiana

If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in Louisiana.

Who must consent to an adoption in Louisiana?

Consent to adoption must be given by the following:

  • The Birth Mom
  • The Biological Father
  • The Alleged Father who has established parental rights of the child
  • The Father of the child, regardless of actual paternity, if:
    • The child was born out of wedlock
    • The man is the child’s Presumed Father
  • The agency having custody of the child
  • The parents of a minor Birth Parent if they are under 18 years old

When is consent not necessary for adoption in Louisiana?

Consent to adoption in Louisiana is not required from the following:

  • A parent who has had his or her parental rights terminated
  • The agency with custody of the child if the court finds the adoption to be in the child’s best interest
  • For a stepparent or relative adoption, a parent who has failed to support, visit, or communicate with the child without just cause for at least 6 months

How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in Louisiana?

In Louisiana, a Birth Mom may give her consent to adoption 3 days after the child is born if it is an agency adoption or 5 days after the child is born if it is a private adoption.

The child’s Father may give his consent anytime before the child is born.

In the case of an Alleged Father, he may give his consent at any time and it is irrevocable once given.

Before surrendering the child for adoption, the parent must have at least 2 counseling sessions with a licensed professional and the consent form must state:

  • The parent has no mental incapacities
  • If a minor parent, their legal guardian is joining them in the decision to consent
  • The parent has been informed and understands the consent is irrevocable
  • The parent is freely and voluntarily surrendering his or her parental rights
  • In an adoption through the Department, the surrender is not made with conditions
  • Whether or not the surrendering Birth Mom wants to be notified of a hearing of any opposition to the adoption

Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in Louisiana?

Unless it has been proven to be obtained under fraud or duress, consent to adoption is irrevocable once it has been given and accepted by court.

What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in Louisiana?

A ‘parent’ is any living person who is presumed to be a parent under the Civil Code or a Biological or Adoptive Mother or Father of a child.

In Louisiana, a Putative Father Registry has been created to allow a man to declare his parental rights to the child and to help facilitate his participation in any adoption proceedings.

Home study and Post Placement Requirements in Louisiana

Prospective Adoptive Parents in Louisiana are required to complete a home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.

What is a home study and what happens during the process?

The home study is a critical component to the adoption process. While it is to ensure your home will provide a child with stability, safety, and support, it is also a resource for Prospective Adoptive Parents to ask questions and prepare for the adoption. A home study is ultimately a recommendation as to the fitness of the applicants to become Adoptive Parents.

In Louisiana, a home study assessment will include:

  • A State and national criminal background check
  • A child abuse and neglect registry check for everyone in the house who is at least 18 years old
  • At least 2 home visits
  • Face-to-face interviews with everyone living in the home
  • At least 4 references, 1 of which may be a family member
  • An interview with the applicant’s adult child regarding the applicants parenting history, if applicable
  • The motivation for choosing adoption
  • History of any previous adoptions
  • An assessment of the family background and customs
  • A discussion of disciplinary actions and practices
  • The past and present mental and physical health of the applicants
  • The applicant’s hobbies, interests and community involvement
  • Relationships with extended family

Who oversees a home study in Louisiana and who is included in it?

The home study process in Louisiana is overseen by the Department of Child and Family Services and should include everyone living in the Prospective Adoptive Home.

Why would my home study not be approved in Louisiana?

A home study will not be approved if a Prospective Parent has been convicted of any of the following crimes:

  • Rape or sexual battery
  • Rehoming of a child
  • Murder, manslaughter, or feticide
  • Criminal neglect or abandonment of family
  • Cruelty to juveniles
  • Child desertion
  • A sexual offense involving a minor
  • Crimes of violence including:
    • Aggravated assault or battery
    • Kidnapping or stalking
    • Robbery or burglary
    • Illegal use of weapons or terrorism
    • Trafficking of children for sexual purposes or human trafficking
    • Domestic abuse aggravated assault
    • Vehicular homicide while intoxicated
  • A sex offense, including failing to register as sex offender, obscenity, operating a place of prostitution, or voyeurism
  • Sale of minor children
  • Drug-related offenses
  • A similar offense committed in another State or under Federal law
  • A drug-related crime in the past 5 years

No one who is registered in the state central registry for child abuse and neglect may adopt a child.

Is a home study different for stepparent or relative adoptions in Louisiana?

In Louisiana a stepparent or relative adoption will be considered when:

  • Either a stepparent or relative is interested in adopting the child
  • It is in the best interest of the child
  • The child and stepparent or relative have formed a strong and healthy bond
  • The stepparent or relative’s home meets the safety standards and requirements

Before adoption, the following requirements must be met:

  • The petitioner is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity through the Birth Mom or through a Father who is filiated to the child in accordance with the Civil Code
  • The petitioner is a single person older than age 18 or a married person whose spouse is a joint petitioner
  • The petitioner has had legal or physical custody of the child for at least 6 months prior to filing the petition for adoption.

What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?

Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.

What is a post placement requirement and what happens during the process?

Before the adoption has been finalized, a post placement assessment will take place to ensure the transition into adoption is going well and that the Adoptive Family's circumstances have not changed to no longer fit the child's best interest.

In Louisiana, postplacement supervisory visits will take place:

  • At least once during the first 3 weeks of placement
  • Once every 2 months after the initial visit
  • Within 30 days of the final adoption decree being granted

During the visits, the person assessing the family will:

  • Be available to give the child and Adoptive Parent assistance, consultation, and emotional support with situations and problems encountered in the permanent placement
  • Ensure continuation of case management, visits, and telephone contacts based upon the needs of the child until the adoption is legally granted
  • Be made aware of any change in the Adoptive Home including health, education, or behavior
  • Be responsible for assisting Adoptive Parents to finalize the adoption or in cases where the adoption cannot be finalized, to develop an alternative permanent plan and placement for the child

What are the requirements for a Foster to Adopt placement in Louisiana?

If a child in the care of a Foster Parent becomes eligible for adoption, the Foster Parents will have the first consideration for adopting the child if relative placement is not available.

Adoption for a child by their Foster Parent will be considered when:

  • The Foster Parent is interested in adopting the child
  • The Foster Parent meets the certification standards for adoptive homes
  • The child and Foster Family have developed healthy and affectionate ties
  • An assessment determines a foster to adopt placement is in the child’s best interest

Louisiana Adoption Professionals

Louisiana is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:

Acorn Adoptions

985-626-3800

St. Elizabeth Foundation

225-769-8888

DeColores Adoption International

1-877-436-4530

Beacon House Adoption Services

225-753-5551

A Bond of Life Adoption

317-873-3841

Things to do in Louisiana

If your adoption journey takes you to the unique and exciting state of Louisiana, visit some of its most famous attractions while you wait to meet your new child or to finalize the adoption process:

National WWII Museum in New Orleans

St. Louis Cathedral in New Orleans

Jackson Square in New Orleans

French Quarter in New Orleans

Garden District in New Orleans

A note from Adoption Network Law Center

No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in Louisiana. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.