Dispelling Adoption Myths
Feb. 7, 2023
In Louisiana, adoption provides an opportunity for individuals and couples to accept someone else's child legally into their family. Also, they can raise the new child as their own and provide them with adequate care, consistent love, and a home in which to live. However, there are lots of misconceptions and false assumptions that prevent families from utilizing adoption opportunities.
At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, we're dedicated to offering reliable advocacy and detailed guidance to clients in adoption-related matters. Our experienced Louisiana family law attorney can evaluate your unique situation, enlighten you about the adoption process, and help clarify the misconceptions. We're proud to serve clients across Denham Springs, Colyell, Holden, Albany, and Livingston, Louisiana.
Overview of Adoption in Louisiana
Adopting a child in Louisiana requires that you're at least 18 years old and financially stable enough to support the child. If you meet the state's eligibility requirements and have identified the child you want to adopt, you must complete a home study, an Adoption Planning Questionnaire (APQ), and pre-service training. You must also pass a criminal background check, attend an interview, complete and submit all other necessary legal paperwork, and appear in court to finalize the adoption.
Common Adoption Myths
There are several collective popular opinions surrounding the adoption process in Louisiana. As a result, adoption attorneys must take their time to educate prospective adoptive parents about the legal procedures involved and what to expect. Here are some common myths and misconceptions about adoption in Louisiana and a brief explanation of why they're not true:
Myth #1: You Need to Be Married to Adopt.
This is a common misconception. In Louisiana, single people can adopt a child. Whether you're single, married, widowed, or divorced, you are allowed to seek adoption. However, married couples seeking adoption are required to file their petition jointly.
Myth #2: You Need to Be a Certain Sexual Orientation to Adopt.
This is not true. There is no law that expressly prohibits LGBTQ+ couples or individuals from adopting a child in Louisiana. Hence, if you belong to the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, or queer communities, you are allowed to adopt a child either as a couple or single parent in the state.
Myth #3: You Need to Own a Home to Adopt.
This is false. You don't have to own a home to adopt a child in Louisiana. However, you must have an adequate living space to accommodate the child and be financially stable enough to support the new child.
Myth #4: The Birth Mother Can Take the Child Back at Any Time.
In Louisiana, the birth mother must give her consent to adoption or her parental rights must be terminated before an adoption can take place. Unless such consent was obtained under duress or fraud, it cannot be revoked once the court accepts it. Hence, the birth mother cannot take back the child at any time.
Myth #5: Adopting Takes Years.
Generally, adoption in Louisiana will only become permanent once you complete all required steps and the court approves it. Depending on the type of adoption you're seeking, it may take between 6 to 12 months or sometimes more to finalize the adoption.
Myth #6: There Is Little Financial Assistance Available.
This is not true. Adoptive parents may receive financial support of up to $1,000 per child. This will help cover expenses such as court costs, agency fees, attorney or legal fees, and revised birth certificates. In some situations, the parent may also receive monthly cash reimbursements, health insurance, and other special services. Generally, the adoptive parents will reach an agreement with the Office of Community Services to determine the amount of financial assistance or monthly payments.
Myth #7: Only Infants and Young Children Are Adopted.
Lastly, any child or adult can be adopted in Louisiana. Children who are 12 years or older must consent to the adoption. Also, there are special procedures for adopting an adult in the state. Whether you're considering adopting an infant, young child, or adult, an experienced Louisiana adoption attorney can walk you through the legal procedures involved and help you make informed decisions.
Speak With an Experienced Adoption Attorney
Adopting a child or adding to your family can be a thrilling experience. However, it is important that you understand the eligibility requirements, types of adoption, and the legal procedures involved to ensure a valid and successful adoption. At the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham, we have the diligence and experience to assist and guide individuals and families through the complexities of adoption.
As your legal counsel, we can determine your eligibility for adoption and help seek consent from the required parties or terminate the parental rights. Also, our attorney will help complete the necessary documentation, file your adoption petition, represent you intelligently at every phase of the legal process, and ensure that the adoption is valid, legal, and successful.
Contact the Law Office of Ivy L. Graham today to schedule a simple consultation with a trusted adoption attorney. We can offer you the personalized legal guidance, assistance, and advocacy you need to navigate crucial decisions in your adoption. Our firm proudly serves clients across Denham Springs, Colyell, Holden, Albany, and Livingston, Louisiana.