Adult adopted people born in Louisiana do not have an unrestricted right to request and obtain their own original birth certificates. An adult adoptee in Louisiana must demonstrate “compelling reasons” for a court to order release of an original birth certificate. In addition, a court may appoint a “curator ad hoc” (an attorney) to help in “satisfying the requirement that information shall be revealed only to the extent necessary to satisfy the compelling necessity shown.”
Relevant Louisiana Law: Original Birth Certificate
Rev. Stat. §40:72. Record of adoptions prior to July 27, 1938
When a person who was born in Louisiana and who was adopted prior to July 27, 1938, or when any person, who adopted prior to July 27, 1938, any person born in Louisiana, by observing the legal requirements for adoption in Louisiana existing at the time of the adoption, presents the original or a certified copy of the birth certificate of the adopted person and a certified copy of a final judgment decreeing the adoption or the notarial act of adoption, in accordance with the legal requirements existing on the date of the judgment or act of adoption, the state registrar shall make a record showing:
(1) The date of birth of the person adopted.
(2) The new name of the person adopted, if his name was changed in accordance with law; and
(3) The names and addresses of the adoptive parents and any other data about them that is available and adds to the completeness of the new certificate of the adopted person.
Rev. Stat. § 40:73. Certified copy of the new record; sealing and confidentiality of the original birth record
A. Upon completion of the new record provided for in R.S. 40:72, the state registrar shall issue to the adopted person or to the adoptive parents a certified copy of the new record and shall place the original birth certificate and the copy of the judgment or the copy of the act of adoption in a sealed package and shall file the package in the archives of the vital records registry.
B. This sealed package shall be opened only upon the demand of the adopted person, or if deceased, by his or her descendants, or upon the demand of the adoptive parent, or the state registrar, or the recognized public or private social agency which was a party to the adoption, and then only by order of a Louisiana court of competent jurisdiction at the domicile of the vital records registry, which order shall issue only after a showing of compelling reasons. Information shall be revealed only to the extent necessary to satisfy such compelling necessity.
C. In satisfying the requirement that information shall be revealed only to the extent necessary to satisfy the compelling necessity shown, the court is further authorized to use the services of the curator ad hoc appointment pursuant to Article 5091.2 of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure.
D. All motions for records under this Section shall be in accordance with and subject to the provisions of Children’s Code Articles 1188 through 1192 and, if an adoption agency is involved, the agency shall be served with a copy of the motion as provided in Article 1313 of the Louisiana Code of Civil Procedure.
Rev. Stat. §40:76. Record of foreign adoptions
A. When a person born in Louisiana is adopted in a court of proper jurisdiction in any other state or territory of the United States, the state registrar may create a new record of birth in the archives upon presentation of a properly certified copy of the final decree of adoption or, if the case has been closed and the adoption decree has been sealed, upon the receipt of a certified statement from the record custodian attesting to the adoption decree.
B. The decree is considered properly certified when attested by the clerk of court in which it was rendered with the seal of the court annexed, if there is a court seal, together with a certificate of the presiding judge, chancellor, or magistrate to the effect that the attestation is in due form. The certified statement is considered proper when sworn to and having the seal of the foreign state or territory’s record custodian.
C. Upon receipt of the certified copy of the decree, the state registrar shall make a new record in its archives, showing:
(1) The date and place of birth of the person adopted.
(2) The new name of the person adopted, if the name has been changed by the decree of adoption; and
(3) The names of the adoptive parents and any other data about them that is available and adds to the completeness of the certificate of the adopted child.
Art. 5091.2. Curator ad hoc in adoption cases
In complying with the provisions of the Louisiana Children’s Code Articles 1011, 1107, or 1190 and related statutes, the judge of the competent court is authorized to appoint an attorney who shall serve as curator ad hoc who will assist the court in complying with the statutory requirements for maintaining the confidentiality of termination, surrender, adoption, and related records and proceedings.