Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through adoption agencies and attorneys. They can help one adopt domestically. Click here to connect with an adoption professional.
International Adoptions must be completed through an accredited adoption agency internationally. You can learn more about international adoption here.
Foster Care Adoptions in Louisiana can be completed through the Department of Children and Family Services (800-259-3428).
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Can I Adopt in Louisiana?
Parents can be single, married, or divorced. Applicants must be at least 21 years old. While you certainly don’t need to be rich to adopt, parents need a steady income to provide for a family. Good physical and emotional health is required for adoptive parents. Applicants must also pass a criminal background check. Parents must complete 21 hours of pre-service training. The home needs to have enough room for a child. Children can share a bedroom, but they cannot share a bedroom with a child 18 or older. The total number of children in the home in a foster adoption cannot exceed 5.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in Louisiana?
Advertising: Only licensed adoption agencies and Louisiana-based crisis pregnancy centers are permitted to advertise that they will adopt or assist in the adoption of children. The payment of anything of value for a voluntary surrender of a child for adoption is prohibited. § 46:1425(A)-(C)
Relinquishment: For agency adoptions, birth mothers must wait until 3 days after the birth of their child to give consent. For private adoptions, mothers must wait 5 days after birth to give consent. The father may consent at any time before or after birth, but any surrender executed before the 5th day after birth is revocable in court until after the 5th day of the child's birth. Alleged or adjudicated fathers may revoke before or after birth, but once consent is given it is irrevocable regardless of when it was given. Except what has been previously written, consent is irrevocable upon execution and acceptance by the court. Consent can only be revoked if proved in court that consent came under fraud or duress. (Children’s Code 1122(b)(1); 1123; 1130; 1147; 1195)
Birth parent expenses: Adoptive parents may reimburse birth parents for the following expenses: reasonable medical expenses (hospital, testing, nursing, travel, prenatal care), medical expenses prior to decree of adoption, counseling services for reasonable time before and after child’s placement, Statement of Family History expenses, living expenses not beyond 45 days after birth, attorney fees, and any other fees the court finds reasonable. (Children's Code 1200)
Post-adoption contact agreements: Contact agreements must be signed by both adoptive and birth parents and in writing to be legally enforceable. In agency adoptions where the agency is the custodian for the child, contact agreements may be established with the child’s family under the following two conditions: the child has established a significant relationship with the person, and the loss of this relationship would cause harm to the child; the preservation of the relationship is in the child’s best interest. The court decides if the agreement is in the best interests of the child. Agreements are only legally enforceable if filed in court. (Children’s Code 1269.1-1269.8)
Birth father rights: The Department of Health and Hospitals oversees the putative father registry that records the name and address of the following individuals: adjudicated fathers in LA and other states, any person who has filed an acknowledgement of paternity, any person who files a judgement of filiation. Those who are on file with the putative father registry receive notice of adoption proceedings. RS § 9:400
Finalization: Out of 621 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 9.8 months. (acf.hhs.gov)
Is Adoption Assistance Available in Louisiana?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in Louisiana have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In Louisiana, the max daily amount ranges from $12.46-13.36. A special monthly amount for children with advanced medical needs is $258.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and provides the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Louisiana requires adoptive parents to either petition the court for validation of a foreign adoption decree or register the completed foreign adoption decree. Once the foreign adoption is validated or registered with the court's, parents can request a state birth certificate for the adopted child. Parents have the option to readopt the child in Louisiana.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=state&range=21
State subsidy contact:
Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services
627 N 4th St
Baton Rouge, LA 70802
225-342-6509 • fax 225-342-0963
Adoptions in Louisiana can be completed through the Department of Children and Family Services.
Parents can be single, married, or divorced. Applicants must be at least 21. Parents need a steady income to provide for a family. Good physical and emotional health is required.
Only licensed adoption agencies and Louisiana-based crisis pregnancy centers are permitted to advertise that they will adopt or assist in the adoption of children. The payment of anything of value for a voluntary surrender of a child for adoption is prohibited.
For agency adoptions, birth mothers must wait until 3 days after the birth of their child to give consent. For private adoptions, mothers must wait until 5 days after birth to give consent. The father may consent at any time before or after birth. Consent is irrevocable upon execution.
Contact agreements are legally enforceable. A putative father registry exists in LA.