Adoption can be a big step for families in Louisiana. Whether you’re thinking about adopting a child or considering placing your baby for adoption, understanding some key terms and knowing where to turn for help is crucial. Let’s dive into adoption terminology, cover important aspects of the adoption process for both adoptive and birth parents, touch on Louisiana’s adoption laws, and highlight a trusted adoption agency in the state.

Adoption Terms to Know

Before diving into the adoption process, it’s helpful to understand some common terms:

  • Birth Parents: The biological parents of a child being placed for adoption.
  • Adoptive Parents: The individuals or couples who legally become the parents of the adopted child.
  • Home Study: A process where a social worker evaluates the prospective adoptive family’s home, lifestyle, and readiness to adopt.
  • Open Adoption: An adoption where the birth parents and adoptive parents have some level of contact and communication.
  • Closed Adoption: An adoption where there is no contact between the birth parents and adoptive parents after the adoption is finalized.

Understanding these terms can help navigate conversations with the community and completing paperwork throughout the adoption journey.

For Adoptive Parents

Considering adopting a child in Louisiana? You’re not alone. The Gladney Center for Adoption is a respected adoption agency that can guide you through the process. When choosing an agency, look for experience, support, transparency, resources, and positive reviews. Adoption can be a lengthy process, but with the right agency by your side, you can navigate it smoothly and confidently. Until then, take a look at what the adoption process can look like for you:

1. Research and Preparation:

Research different types of adoption (domestic, international, foster care).
Consider what type of adoption is the best fit for your family.
Prepare emotionally and financially for the adoption journey.

2. Choose an Adoption Agency or Attorney:

Research and select a reputable adoption agency or attorney to work with.
Attend informational sessions or consultations to learn more about their services.

3. Complete Pre-Adoption Requirements:

Undergo a home study conducted by a social worker to assess your suitability to adopt.
Complete background checks, medical exams, and provide references.

4. Create an Adoption Profile:

Create a profile that showcases your family, lifestyle, and reasons for wanting to adopt.
Include photos, letters, and other personal information to share with expectant parents.

5. Match with a Child:

Wait to be matched with an expectant parent considering adoption or a child in need of adoption.
Review potential matches and communicate with the birth family or agency to ensure compatibility.


6. Finalize the Adoption:

Work with legal professionals to finalize the adoption process.
Attend court hearings and legal proceedings to legally adopt the child.
Complete post-placement visits and paperwork to ensure the adoption is legally recognized.

7. Transition and Adjustment:

Welcome the child into your home and help them adjust to their new environment.
Provide ongoing support, love, and guidance as your family grows through adoption.

For Birth Parents

Facing the decision of placing your baby for adoption can be tough. Remember, there’s support available in Louisiana. The Gladney Center for Adoption and other agencies offer assistance, resources, and guidance to birth parents and adoptive parents throughout the adoption process. Reach out for help, ask questions, and take your time making decisions. You’re not alone in this journey.

1. Explore Adoption Options:

Research different types of adoption (open, semi-open, closed) to determine what feels right for you and your baby.
Consider the type of family you envision for your child and what qualities are important to you.

2. Reach Out for Support:

Contact adoption agencies or adoption attorneys to learn more about the adoption process and your options.
Seek counseling or support groups to discuss your feelings, fears, and concerns about adoption.

3. Choose an Adoptive Family:

Review profiles of prospective adoptive families to find the right match for your baby.
Consider factors such as the family’s values, lifestyle, and parenting approach.

4. Develop an Adoption Plan:

Work with the adoption agency or attorney to create a personalized adoption plan outlining your preferences and wishes for the adoption process.
Decide on the level of contact you want with the adoptive family before and after the adoption.

5. Legal Process:

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Understand the legal aspects of adoption, including your rights and responsibilities as a birth parent.
Work with legal professionals to navigate the legal requirements and procedures involved in placing your child for adoption.

6. Post-Placement Support:

Receive ongoing support and counseling throughout the adoption process and beyond.
Stay connected with the adoptive family if you choose an open or semi-open adoption, and communicate your needs and boundaries.

7. Grieve and Heal:

Allow yourself to grieve the loss of parenting your child while also acknowledging the love and selflessness it took to make an adoption plan.
Seek support from friends, family, or professional counselors to help you navigate the emotions of placing your child for adoption.

Start the Adoption Process

Louisiana Adoption Laws

Adoption laws in Louisiana can affect the process and outcome of adoption cases. It’s essential to stay informed about the state’s current laws. You can find information online or consult with legal professionals independently or with your chosen adoption agency to understand how the laws apply to your situation.

Louisiana Adoption Advocates

Paula Davis

Paula Davis, LSU School of Social Work Field Education Liaison, received the 2023 Adoption Advocate of the Year award from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) for her dedication to advocating for children in need of loving homes and her commitment to improving adoption practices (LSU, 2023). The award was presented at the Louisiana Governor’s Mansion alongside a celebration of the 619 adoptions from foster care in the past year (LSU, 2023). With over two decades of experience, Davis has focused on assisting children facing adoption challenges and developing post-adoption services for families statewide (LSU, 2023). Her partnership with DCFS and the Center for Adoption Support and Education has provided crucial training for professionals in social work and child welfare, ensuring they can better support adoptive children and families (LSU, 2023). Davis’s humility and dedication to improving adoption practices make her a deserving recipient of the 2023 Adoption Advocate of the Year award (LSU, 2023).

Kate Migues

Kate Migues, an educator for 15 years, founded Placed Adoption Education Foundation in August 2023 to meet a Louisiana statute mandating adoption education in schools statewide (Milford, 2023). Migues’s personal experiences with adoption, having adopted two newborns from the same birth mother, fueled her passion for the initiative (Milford, 2023). Placed mirrors suicide prevention education, with Migues offering tailored programs ranging from one to three class periods (Milford, 2023). The programs cover prospective adoption, unexpected pregnancy, and interactions with adopted or foster children (Milford, 2023).

Migues emphasizes respectful language and meaningful questions when interacting with adopted or foster children, aiming to foster understanding and empathy among students (Milford, 2023). Placed extends services to unexpected pregnancy centers, providing unbiased information to women facing crisis pregnancies (Milford, 2023). Pending approval from the state superintendent of schools, Migues plans to expand the program beyond Acadiana (Milford, 2023). Her goal is to provide essential adoption education statewide, demonstrating her commitment to education and support for individuals navigating adoption decisions (Milford, 2023).

Adoption in Louisiana is a significant decision that impacts many lives. With support from trusted agencies like The Gladney Center for Adoption and an understanding of the adoption process, families can navigate the process with confidence and compassion.