April 6th, 2010
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Map of LouisianaWelcome to the eighteenth post in our series Adopting In the 50 States. Today, we’re in Louisiana. Did you know that April is Safe Digging Month in Louisiana? Well, now you do! Remember, I am not a lawyer, nor do I play one on TV. Consult an attorney or other adoption professional with specific questions. If you have adopted in Louisiana and would like to share your experience with others, please leave a comment or email me at RobynC@adoptionblogs.com.

Who May Adopt In Louisiana?

In Louisiana, any person who is age 18 or older may adopt.

When May Consent Be Signed?

The birth father can sign any time. However, the consent can be revoked up until 5 days after the birth of the baby.

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The birth mother may sign 5 days after birth.

How Much Time Do the Birth Parents Have to Revoke Consent?

Consent is irrevocable.

Does Louisiana Have a Putative Father Registry?

Yes.

Does Louisiana Allow the Biological Father to Give Consent Before the Child is Born?

Yes.

Can Adoptive Parents Advertise to Find Expectant Parents?

No.

Does Louisiana Allow the Use of Facilitators?

No.

How Long Before Adoption Can Be Finalized?

6 to 12 months.

Which Expectant Mother Expenses Can Be Paid by the Adoptive Parents?

Louisiana has a specific list of expenses that can be paid. They include reasonable medical expenses for the birth mother and the infant, foster care expenses, counseling, legal fees, and reasonable living expenses. Living expenses can be paid for a reasonable amount of time before the birth of the baby, up to 45 days after the birth of the baby. Yes, the laws use the word “reasonable” many, many times.

Can Out of State Residents Finalize in Louisiana?

Yes.

Does Louisiana Allow for Enforceable Open Adoption Agreements?

Yes. Almost any relative, including parents, grandparents, and siblings, can be a party to an open adoption agreement. Agreements are only legally enforceable if they contain at least four specific declarations.

Failure to comply with the agreement does not nullify the adoption.

Advice From Someone Who’s Been There

Shannon from Wisconsin recently adopted from Louisiana. She said that the ICPC took a whopping 2 days. She advises, “Keep a totally open mind and just roll with the process.”

Resources

Photo Credit: Perry-Castañeda Library Map Collection, University of Texas

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