What Is The Adoption Process In Louisiana?

Adopting a baby is a time in your life full of a wide array of emotions — from excitement and nerves to fear of the unknown. Understanding the adoption process in Louisiana can help ease some of those fears, and help you anticipate what's to come. Knowing what to expect also helps you prepare for one of the biggest moments of your life: becoming a parent.

At Doucet Law Firm in Lake Charles, we are skilled and knowledgeable in adoption laws and can help you take the steps to make your dream of becoming a parent a reality. Attorney Blaine Doucet has done more than a thousand adoptions in Calcasieu Parish and the surrounding area, and he is prepared to help you.

Helping You On The Journey To Adoption

Here are the steps you would take to adopt a baby in Louisiana:

Step 1: To become certified to adopt, you would participate in a home study.

Step 2: The biological parents would need to sign a surrender or intent to surrender. Your attorney would have the baby's father sign a surrender, or file a notice of intent to surrender by the birth mother and serve the father.

Step 3: When the baby is born, your attorney would file a petition for pre-placement, so the baby can be placed with you as its adoptive family.

Step 4: There is a waiting period before the birth mother can sign an irrevocable surrender, legally giving up the baby. In Louisiana, this time period is five days. Five days after the baby is born, the mother undergoes two one-hour counseling sessions and meets with an independent attorney before she signs a surrender. The father can sign before the birth or at any time, but five days after the birth, his surrender also becomes irrevocable.

Step 5: Your attorney files to terminate the parental rights of both birth parents.

Step 6: Between 30 and 60 days later, your attorney files a petition for an interlocutory decree, which is a temporary order of adoption.

Step 7: After the child has lived in your home for a year, your attorney files for the final adoption.

How Much Will An Adoption Cost?

The cost of an adoption can vary significantly. Factors that impact the cost include:

  • How far along the birth mother is in her pregnancy
  • What the birth mother's month-to-month needs are. Louisiana law allows the adoptive family to pay "reasonable" living expenses for a birth mother during her pregnancy.

Meeting with a family law and adoption lawyer early in the process can help you get a better idea of how much your specific adoption might cost.

Although it's a rare occurrence, it's possible for the birth mother to change her mind at any point. Keeping that in mind should not hinder you from pursuing an adoption, but it is wise to be aware of that as you go through your adoption journey.

Start The Adoption Process With A Strong Advocate

Call us today to find out how we can help you with your adoption. Call 337-419-0298 or visit our contact page.