Adopting a child in Louisiana is easier than ever, but the first step is to determine your qualifications: You must be 18 years of age (married or single). In special circumstances of a stepparent, grandparent or not-too-distant relative wishing to adopt, the child must have resided with you for six months.
This comes under the classification of inter-family adoption. It is usually done through an agency which arranges for an attorney and the specifics. There will usually be fees. A state worker will do an in-home evaluation. There are many formalities, but the agency will usually take an active role in making sure everything is done.
The other kind of adoption is an intra-family adoption. An example is if a cousin or sister can no longer care for a child, and you have been asked to take on the responsibility of raising the child as your own. This is pretty common in second marriages. There may be an absent parent – often the father, and the current husband wants to adopt the child.
Intra-family adoptions need a private attorney. Our office handles several of these cases a year. If everyone involved is in agreement, the adoption approval process is a matter of signing paperwork and appearing before a judge in Family or Juvenile Court. These usually go forward without a hitch.
Looking for a place to start your research into the responsibilities of caring for a foster or adopted child? the Louisiana Department of Children and Family and Services has an extremely useful and easy-to-use website. http://www.dcfs.louisiana.gov
Another helpful source is Adopt Us Kids. https://www.adoptuskids.org/adoption-and-foster-care/how-to-adopt-and-foster/state-information/louisiana
The Gouner Law Firm can assist you with the ins and outs of legal adoption, no matter the age range or circumstance. We will make sure your rights are a matter of law, and not just someone’s promises. A child needs more than a promise. Greg Gouner is can help!
Written by Ted Baldwin