La. Admin. Code tit. 67, § V-5101 - Certificate of Adoption in Private Adoptions

A. Any prospective adoptive parent in a private adoption shall obtain a Certificate of Adoption prior to physically receiving the child except when the child is the step-child, grandchild, sibling, niece, or nephew of one of the prospective adopting parents.
B. Definitions
1. Certificate of Adoption-a person who applies to adopt a child privately is certified as qualified to adopt in accordance with the Louisiana Children's Code. A Certificate of Adoption is valid a minimum of two years and a maximum of four years without an update being required. A Certificate of Adoption can be revoked for just cause.
2. Any Prospective Adoptive Parents (in this Section)-any couple who is adopting any child except persons who may petition for intrafamily adoption. The following persons may petition for an intrafamily adoption:
a. a stepparent married to the parent of a legitimate child;
b. a single grandparent or married grandparents of a legitimate child when the child has been in the grandparent's home for six months prior to the filing of a petition for adoption.

When the spouse of the stepparent or one joint petitioner dies after the petition has been filed, the adoption proceedings may continue as though the survivor was a single original petitioner.

C. There are two procedures by which a valid Certificate of Adoption may be obtained by any prospective adoptive couple in Louisiana attempting to adopt privately. Any out-of-Louisiana prospective adoptive couple must also comply with the Louisiana Interstate Compact on Placement of Children.
1. The prospective adoptive couple may apply for a court order approving the placement of a child in their home. The court shall be of proper venue in state of Louisiana.
a. The application for court approval of adoptive placement shall be verified and shall contain the following:
i. the name, address, age occupation, and marital status of the prospective adoptive parents;
ii. expected date of the child's placement;
iii. relationship between the child and the prospective adoptive parent, if any;
iv. the name of the child whose placement is requested, if known.
b. This application for court approval of adoptive placement shall be filed with the clerk of a court of appropriate venue as authorized in Louisiana's Children's Code.
c. The application for court approval of adoptive placement shall be set for hearing in chambers, confidentially, and in a summary manner within 48 hours of its filing.
d. At the hearing, the prospective adoptive parents shall testify under oath concerning their fitness to receive the child into their care and custody, including but not limited to:
i. their moral fitness, previous criminal records or validated complaints of child abuse or neglect, if any;
ii. their mental and physical health;
iii. their financial capacity and disposition to provide the child with food, clothing, medical care, and other material needs;
iv. their capacity and disposition to give the child love, affection, and guidance and to undertake the responsibilities of becoming the child's parents;
v. the adequacy of the physical environment of their home and neighborhood for the placement of the child;
vi. the names and ages of other family members who would reside with the child in the prospective adoptive home and their attitude toward the proposed adoption;
vii. the stability and the permanence, as a family unit, of the proposed adoptive home.
e. At the conclusion of the hearing, the court shall render an order approving or disapproving the placement of the child with the prospective adoptive parents.
f. The order shall be in writing and signed by the judge.
g. A certified copy of the court order approving the adoptive placement shall be given to the prospective adoptive parents. This certified court order is the certificate of adoption if approval is granted.
h. Any order disapproving the adoptive placement shall include specific reasons therefor.
i. Any perjury, withholding of information or misleading statements, during this hearing, may be grounds for revocation of the Certificate of Adoption, or for revoking the adoption itself.
j. The court may issue an instanter order taking protective custody of the child if this information, if known, together with other evidence presented at the hearing would have resulted in the court's disapproval of the adoptive placement.
2. The second procedure for obtaining a Certificate of Adoption is that any person qualified to adopt in Louisiana may request a social worker in the employ of a licensed child placing agency, a board certified social worker, or a licensed counselor, psychologist, or psychiatrist to conduct a home study before the physical placement of the child in the home. Those people or agencies doing the home study shall be licensed in their respective fields in the state of Louisiana.
a. This home study must address, as appropriate, in writing, all the items in the following Sections of the Louisiana Administrative Code, namely:
i. LAC 48:I.4115.C-Adoptive Home Study;
ii. LAC 48:I.4115.D-Notification Regarding Application;
iii. LAC 48:I.4115.E-Access to Records;
iv. LAC 48:I.4115.F-Updating Home Study;
v. LAC 48:I.4115.H-Review Procedure;
vi. LAC 48:I.4115.I-Adoptive Parents' Records.
b. In addition to the home study, the application for Certificate of Adoption must also contain a request for the court to order a criminal records check for all federal and state arrests and convictions, and validated complaints of child abuse or neglect, respectively, in this or any other state specified for each prospective adoptive parent. This check shall provide a certificate indicating all information discovered or that no information has been found.
c. Attorneys representing prospective adoptive couples living in Louisiana for private adoptions must request the court having jurisdiction to order a Louisiana child abuse/neglect records check from the Office of Community Services' Regional Office for the parish of residence of the prospective adoptive couple with the results of said check to be submitted in writing to the court. The court order shall be sent to the attention of the Adoption Petition Unit.
d. The mailing addresses of the regional offices of the Office of Community Services where this form may be obtained are as follows:
i. New Orleans Regional Office, Box 57149, New Orleans, LA 70157-7149;
ii. Baton Rouge Regional Office, Box 66789, Baton Rouge, LA 70896;
iii. Lafayette Regional Office, 1353 Surrey Street, Lafayette, LA 70501;
iv. Lake Charles Regional Office, Box 16865, Lake Charles, LA 70616;
v. Alexandria Regional Office, Box 832, Alexandria, LA 71309;
vi. Shreveport Regional Office, 801 State Office Building, 1525 Fairfield Avenue, Shreveport, LA 71101-4388;
vii. Monroe Regional Office, Box 3047, Monroe, LA 71210;
viii. Thibodaux Regional Office, Box 998, Thibodaux, LA 70302-0998.
e. The prospective adoptive couple at the end of this home study shall be given a Certificate of Adoption if favorable in the judgment of the contracted person doing the home study in accordance with Louisiana's Children's Code. If there is a disapproval, the prospective adoptive couple shall be informed in writing of the reason for the disapproval.
f. Payment of the home study is at the petitioner's expense.
D. The Department of Social Services, Office of Community Services in carrying out the duties as detailed in the Children's Code, Title XII, Chapter 10, Article 1229 (A) shall include in the report to the court a copy of the Certificate of Adoption for the prospective adoptive couple or report to the court in writing that no Certificate of Adoption has been obtained in accordance with the Louisiana Children's Code.

Notes

La. Admin. Code tit. 67, § V-5101
Promulgated by the Department of Social Services, Office of Community Services, LR 18:747 (July 1992), Amended by the Department of Children and Family Services, Division of Child Welfare, LR 4613 (1/1/2020), effective 2/1/2020.
AUTHORITY NOTE: Promulgated in accordance with the Children's Code, Title XII, Chapter 2.

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