Louisiana Intrafamily Adoption Process
Intrafamily adoption is a simplified adoption process that allows relatives to adopt relatives. Also referred to as “Stepparent Adoption,” it allows stepparents to adopt their spouse’s children. Louisiana’s Intrafamily Adoption laws allow a stepparent, grandparent, great-grandparent, stepgrandparent, or relative to the twelfth degree (first cousins, once removed) to adopt a child if all of the following are met:
1. The person seeking to adopt is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity through a parent recognized as having parental rights.
2. The person seeking to adopt is a single person over the age of 18 or a married person whose spouse is a joint petitioner.
3. The person seeking to adopt has had legal or physical custody of the child for at least six months prior to the filing of the petition.
Does the other parent have to consent to the adoption? What if I don’t know where they are?
If you are considering an intrafamily adoption, it is a good idea to reach out to the other biological parent and ask for his or her permission. Although this is not required, permission can make the adoption process much quicker and easier. If you are not sure where the child’s parent currently is, the court can appoint a curator ad hoc, which is an attorney who will try to find the parent so they can be properly served with the adoption petition.
What can I expect after filing a Petition for Intrafamily Adoption?
Petitioners may undergo a home study and vigorous background checks for a history of criminal activity and child abuse or neglect. After this is completed, a hearing is usually held in chambers with the Judge to determine the child’s best interests.
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