Growing your family by adopting a child can be a rewarding experience. The legal requirements surrounding adoption, however, can sometimes prove to be bureaucratic and complex. Indeed, it can seem impossible for the average Louisiana resident to make heads or tails of the state laws that regulate who can be adopted, by whom, and how. So here is a brief summary of adoption laws in Louisiana.
Most regulations regarding adoption exist at the state level, and will dictate who is allowed to adopt and the special requirements for adoptive parents. Under Louisiana law spouses must join in the adoption unless they are legally separated. Even the simplest adoptions can be a momentous and complex process; for help in understanding the law and what your legal requirements might be, you may want to contact an attorney.
Adoption Laws in Louisiana
States are free to set up their own adoption laws, which can differ from other states’. Adoption laws in Louisiana are highlighted in the chart below.
|Code Section||Ch. C. Art. 1167-1270; No|
|Who May Be Adopted||Any child or adult; Special procedures exist to adopt adult.|
|Age that Child's Consent Needed||Not required|
|Who May Adopt||Any single person 18 years of age or older, or married couple jointly.|
|Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption?||1 year/6 mos.|
|State Agency/Court||Dept. of Social Services/Juvenile|
|Statute of Limitations to Challenge||30 days; 6 mos. for fraud or duress|
Louisiana is one of six states (plus Kentucky, Montana, New Jersey, Tennessee, and Washington), in which a person must be at least eighteen years old to adopt. A few states allow minors to adopt under certain circumstances, such as when the minor is the spouse of an adult adoptive parent or when the minor is the unmarried birth parent of the child to be adopted.
Other states have age restrictions that require an adoptive parent to be older than the adopted person by a certain number of years. In approximately six states (California, Georgia, Nevada, New Jersey, South Dakota, and Utah), the adopting parents must be at least ten years older than the person to be adopted.
Related Resources for Adoption Laws
The adoption process can be lengthy, and the state statutes and policies concerning adoption can seem never ending. If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can contact an experienced Louisiana adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation. You can also visit FindLaw’s Adoption and Adoption Laws section for more articles and resources on this topic.
Contact a qualified attorney.