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Louisiana adoption law

Adoption in Louisiana

Adopting a child is one of the most selfless things a person or couple can do.  The adoption process is very involved, thus, it’s wise to retain a family law attorney early in the process.

Adoption essentially creates filiation by will.  It creates a filial link between a child and new parents who have assumed responsibility for him or her.  Legally, the link is identical to the relationship of a biological relationship.  Louisiana recognizes two very different kinds of adoption: adoption of children and adoption of adults.

Child Adoption

Louisiana has extensive adoption laws pertaining to adopting minor children.  The laws are found in the Children’s Code, specifically at La. Ch. Code arts. 1167-1285.17.  There are three types of adoptions of minors per La. Ch. Code art. 1170: agency adoption, private adoption, and intra-family adoption.  

An agency adoption involves the placement of a child by DSS or a licensed adoption agency.  A private adoption is one in which no agency is involved.  The biological parents and adopting parents deal with each other directly.  An intra-family adoption is one in which the adopter is a step-parent, a grandparent or ascendant, or a collateral of the child within the fourth degree.  The child must have been living with the adopter for at least six weeks prior to the adoption.  Regardless of the type, an adoption of a minor requires court approval following an extensive vetting process.

Adult Adoption

Louisiana allows adoption of adults as well.  The process is simple in comparison to child adoption.  It can be done without court approval in some instances.  La. Civ. Code art. 212 allows an adult adoption to be by authentic act if the adoptive parent is already a step-parent.  Otherwise, both parties must file a joint petition and attend a court hearing.  The judge may authorize the adoption if the judge finds it’s in the best interest of both parties.  It may seem unusual, but people pursue adult adoptions for a number of reasons, such as succession purposes or simply to further strengthen an existing bond.

The family law attorneys at BowesPetkovich & Palmer, LLC have decades of experience handling all family matters including adoptions in the New Orleans and surrounding areas.  Call us today for a free consultation.


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Gretna, LA 70053


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