Original Birth Certificates. Louisiana is an Unrestricted State. All Louisiana-born adopted people, at age 24, have an unrestricted right to request and obtain non-certified copies of their own original birth certificates. A law enacted in 2022 restored this right.
Court Records/Identifying Information. Court records in Louisiana adoptions are sealed. Courts will not order the release of identifying information except upon a motion for disclosure. In general, a motion for disclosure may be granted if the request relates to protecting inheritance rights, seeking information based on medical necessity, or the need to verify a match with a relative through the voluntary adoption registry.
Descendant Rights. Descendants of the adopted person do not have any specific rights to request and obtain the adopted person’s original birth certificate. It takes a court order for a descendant or any other person, other than the adoptee, to obtain the record. Descendants of a deceased adopted person, however, may be able to use the state’s Voluntary Adoption Registry to find or contact birth relatives.
Voluntary Adoption Registry. Separate from the original birth record, Louisiana also maintains a voluntary adoption registry, which requires mutual consent as well one hour of counseling before an approved counselor will facilitate contact between parties. Persons who can use the registry include adopted persons who are at least 18 years of age, an adoptive parent of a minor or deceased adopted person, and descendants of a deceased adopted person. Others include biological parents and siblings, or a parent, sibling, or descendant of a deceased biological parent.
Adult Adoption. Louisiana law provides for the adoption of adults. Court approval is not required for adult adoptions where the adopting parent is the spouse or surviving spouse of the adult adoptee’s parent. In all other cases, a court petition is required, which will be granted if the adoption is found to be in the best interest of the parties.
Louisiana Law: Vital Records and Birth Certificates
Relevant parts of Louisiana vital records law. The Louisiana vital records statute is available here.
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; issuance of original birth certificate
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, the contact preference form submitted pursuant to Subsection F of this Section, 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 as provided in Subsections E and F of this Setion or 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. Except as provided in Subsections E of this Section, 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.
E.(1) Notwithstanding any provision of the law to the contrary, an adopted person who is twenty-four years of age or older may request an uncertified copy of his birth certificate from the state registrar. Upon such a request, the registrar shall open the sealed package and issue an uncertified copy of the original birth certificate to the adopted person.
(2) The uncertified copy of the original birth certificate shall be issued to the adopted person in accordance with the regulations duly promulgated in accordance with the Administrative Procedure Act for a certified copy of a vital record in the custody of the vital records registry.
F.(1) A birth parent may at any time request from the state registrar a contact preference form that shall accompany the adopted person’s original birth certificate.
(2) The contact preference form shall provide the following information to be completed at the option of the birth parent who shall indicate his intentions as follows:
(a) I would like to be contacted.
(b) I would prefer to be contacted only through an intermediary.
(c) I prefer not to be contacted at this time. If I decide later that I would like to be contacted, I will submit an updated contact preference form to the state registrar.
(3) The contact preference form is a confidential communication from the birth parent to the person named on the sealed birth certificate and shall be placed in the sealed packet containing the original birth certificate. The contact preference form shall be released to an adopted person when he requests his original birth certificate pursuant to Subsection E of this Section.
Rev. Stat. § 40:74. Report of annulments of adoption
The clerk of court shall prepare, within ten days after the decree becomes final, from the court records, a certificate of every decree of annulment of adoption on forms furnished by the state registrar. On or before the fifteenth day of each month, the clerk shall forward the certificates prepared by him during the preceding calendar month to the state registrar.
Upon receipt of a court order of annulment of an adoption registered in his office, the state registrar shall restore the original certificate to its original place in the files.
Rev. State. § 40:75. Adult adoption; name changes
A. Adult adoptions and name changes resulting from the adoptions pursuant to R.S. 9:465 shall have no effect on birth certificates maintained by the Vital Records Registry, except that when a name change is effected pursuant to R.S. 9:465 and an affidavit is presented from the district attorney of the parish or place of residence of the requesting party indicating that there is no objection of the district attorney to the adoptee’s name change along with a certified copy of the notarial act of adoption and the appropriate fee, the registrar of vital records shall prepare a new birth certificate to reflect the new name. If there is an objection from the district attorney, the registrar of vital records shall not seal the adopted person’s birth certificate nor prepare a new certificate until the grounds for the objection have been removed and confirmed by a supplemental affidavit from the district attorney.
B. In such cases, the validity and civil effects of the notarial act of adoption are in no way affected and shall continue to be governed by the laws applicable thereto.
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.
Rev. Stat. § 40:77. Certified copy for adoptive parents
A. Upon completion of the new record as provided for in R.S. 40:76 with respect to an adopted person who was born in Louisiana and adopted in another state, the state registrar shall issue to the adoptive parents a certified copy of the new record and shall place the original birth certificate and the copy of the decree and related documents in a sealed package and shall file the package in its archives.
B. Except as provided in R.S. 40:74, 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 court order shall issue only after a showing of compelling reasons, and opened 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 appointed 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 R.S. 9:437 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. § 40:78. Retroactive operation
The provisions of this Part relative to controlled access to sealed adoption records and R.S. 9:437 shall all apply to adoption decrees rendered at any time, prior to, as well as after, the effective date of this Chapter.
Rev. Stat. § 40:79. Record of adoption decree
A.(1) Whenever a final decree of adoption shall be entered, the clerk of court shall forward, on a form supplied by the Department of Children and Family Services, his certificate of the decree to the state registrar who shall make a new certificate of live birth of the person adopted, in the new name if the name has been changed in the decree.
(2)(a) If the child is adopted by a married couple, the names of both parties shall be recorded as the parents, even if one of the petitioning parties dies prior to entry of the final judgment of adoption. However, if the child is adopted by a step-parent who was married to the legal parent of the child and the legal parent dies prior to the filing of the petition for adoption, the names of both the deceased legal parent and the step-parent shall be recorded on the child’s birth certificate at the request of the step-parent.
(b) If the child is adopted by a single person, the word “adopted” may be written on the new birth certificate if the adopting parent requests it, otherwise no such wording shall be imprinted on the document and the name of the single adopting parent shall be recorded on the new birth certificate.
(3) Upon request of an adopting parent of a child whose birth certificate has the word “adopted” indicated thereon, the state registrar shall immediately reissue a birth certificate which has no reference or other indication that the child was adopted.
(4) The state registrar shall seal and file the original certificate of birth with the certificate of the decree. This sealed package may be opened only on the order of a competent court.
B. If no original record of birth is located in the files of the state registrar of vital records, then unless the child is known to have been born out of the state of Louisiana, he shall file a new certificate of birth in the adoptive name as evidence of the name of the child, names of parents, birth date, and birthplace. The state registrar may require additional documentary evidence necessary to establish the circumstances of birth.
C. A person born in a foreign country who is adopted in the state of Louisiana, but who is not a United States citizen, or who is a naturalized United States citizen, and a person born in a foreign country and adopted outside the United States by adoptive parents who are residents of the state of Louisiana at the time of the adoption, may obtain a new birth certificate according to the following conditions, limitations, and procedures:
(1) Where a certified copy of the original foreign birth certificate of the adopted person, and, if the certificate is not in English, a certified verbatim translation of the certificate are available, the state registrar, upon receipt of the certificate translation and a certified copy of the order or decree of adoption, shall prepare a birth certificate in the new name of the adopted person and shall seal and file the foreign certificate and order or decree of adoption.
(2) Where the certified copy of the original birth certificate of the adopted person and certified translation are not available, the court having jurisdiction of adoptions in the parish, upon evidence presented by the Department of Children and Family Services from information secured at the port of entry or upon evidence from other reliable sources, may make findings on the date, place of birth, and parentage of the adopted person. Upon receipt of a certified copy of such findings of the court, together with a certified copy of the order or decree of adoption, the state registrar shall prepare a birth certificate in the new name of the adopted person and shall seal and file the certified copy of the findings of the court and the certified copy of the order or decree of adoption.
(3) A birth certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this Subsection shall show specifically the true or probable country, island, or continent of birth. Except as provided in the following Paragraph, the birth certificate shall be annotated with the provision “not proof of United States citizenship”.
(4) Where a certified copy of a certificate of naturalization is received by the state registrar together with the documents required by this Subsection, the date and number of the certificate of naturalization shall be included in the birth certificate, and the birth certificate shall be accepted by all state agencies as evidence of United States citizenship.
D. All motions for records under this Section shall be in accordance with, and be 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 a motion as provided in Article 1313 of the Code of Civil Procedure.
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.
Louisiana Law: Court Records and Disclosure
Art. 1181. Adoption records
The clerks of court shall keep separate indices of all suits filed in accordance with this Title, and shall index these suits in the name of the parties filing the petition and in the name of the child to be adopted.
Art. 1184. Admission to hearings
All adoption proceedings shall be heard by the judge in chambers, and no one shall be admitted to the hearings except the parties in interest, their attorneys, and officers of the court. The court, in its discretion, may grant the request of a petitioner to permit others to be present at the hearing.
Art. 1185. Confidential records
No one except the judge presiding in the case, his successor, or a curator ad hoc, as provided for in Article 1191, shall have access to the confidential records of the court pursuant to this Title. Following final disposition of an adoption case, the reports submitted by the department to the judge shall be retained in the court’s confidential adoption record.
Art. 1186. Confidential adoption records; disclosure
A. All adoption records shall be retained in confidential files, and it shall be unlawful for anyone except the biological or adopting parent to disclose any identifying information concerning any individual adoption case, except upon order of the court, after giving proper notice as required in Article 1190 or as otherwise authorized by this Code, or for purposes directly connected with an adoption agency’s responsibilities in relation to adoption work as permitted by its rules and regulations.
B. If the agency, firm, or lawyer ceases to do business in this state, it shall transfer its adoption records to the Department of Children and Family Services or another transferee approved by the department. Thereafter, the transferee shall ensure the preservation and confidentiality of records required by Paragraph A of this Article and assumes responsibility for providing nonidentifying information as required by Articles 1127 and 1127.1.
C. Any person who violates this requirement of confidentiality shall be fined not more than five hundred dollars or imprisoned for not more than ninety days, or both.
Art. 1187. Court records of proceedings
All court records of adoption proceedings shall be confidential and shall not be open to inspection except on written authorization by the court and there shall be no publication thereof.
Art. 1188. Motion for disclosure
A. An adopted person or, if still a minor, his legal representative on his behalf may file a motion for disclosure of information pertaining to his adoption pursuant to Article 1189. The action shall be styled: “In re the Adoption of _____________”.
B. A biological sibling or descendant of an adopted person, or if still a minor, his legal representative on his behalf, may file a motion for disclosure pursuant to Article 1189.
C. This action and the limited medical exception provision of Article 1127 shall be the exclusive means for gaining access to records of adoptions whether maintained by this court, some other court, an adoption agency, any state agency, or private individual, notwithstanding provisions of law to the contrary.
Art. 1189. Grounds for disclosure
A motion for disclosure shall show compelling necessity overriding the general policy of confidentiality for adoption records by alleging any of the following:
(1) There are inheritance rights which are or may be due from the biological parents of the adopted person in accordance with the Civil Code.
(2) There is a medical necessity requiring information about the biological family of the adopted person or his own preadoption health history in order to treat the adopted person, his siblings, or his descendants.
(3) Both the adopted person, or the adoptive parent of a minor or a deceased adoptive person, or a descendant of a deceased adopted person, or his parent if a minor, and a person reasonably believed to be his biological parent or biological sibling, or a parent, sibling, or descendant, or his parent if a minor, of a deceased biological parent have registered with the department pursuant to Chapter 15 of this Title.
(4) The information is otherwise required to be disclosed by federal or state law.
Art. 1190. Authority of the court
A. Upon reviewing a motion for disclosure on grounds of either inheritance rights or medical necessity, the court may deny it for lack of a proper showing of compelling necessity. Before granting a motion, the court may appoint a curator ad hoc and shall set the motion for a hearing.
B. Written notice of the date, time, and place of any disclosure proceedings shall be served and a return made in the same manner as a petition on any custodian of records sought to be disclosed at least fifteen days prior to the hearing.
C. Upon a motion by an adopted person, or if a minor, his legal representative, seeking disclosure from the records of the court of nonidentifying medical or genetic information acquired from a physician, agency, or any other source, the court shall order the clerk to make the information available.
D.(1) The court shall grant a motion seeking nonidentifying medical or genetic information, a motion seeking information to verify a match of voluntary registration pursuant to Chapter 15 of this Title, or a motion seeking other information required by law to be disclosed.
(2) The court may appoint a curator ad hoc to open and review the adoption record and original birth certificate. The curator shall report his findings in accordance with Article 1191.
Art. 1191. Duties of a curator ad hoc
Upon appointment, the curator ad hoc shall be responsible for:
(1) Securing all records pertaining to the petitioner’s request through subpoenas duces tecum or other discovery process, if necessary.
(2) Reviewing all records pertaining to the adoption.
(3) Reporting to the court any objections to disclosure which he may have received from a custodian of records.
(4) Reporting his findings to the court within thirty days of the date of his acceptance of appointment or within an earlier time as ordered by the court due to exigent circumstances, recommending the granting or denial of the request of the mover, and particularizing the necessary scope of any disclosure order for the court’s consideration.
Art. 1192. Orders of disclosure
After a hearing, the court may order disclosure to the extent necessary to satisfy the mover’s demonstrated ground for disclosure. Insofar as possible, an order disclosing information from the court’s own records or any records obtained by the curator ad hoc shall contain nonidentifying information about the biological family. If the court determines that identifying information shall be disclosed, the court may release such information to the person requiring it and order that the confidentiality be maintained without disclosure to the mover.
Louisiana Law: Adoption Generally
Relevant portions of Louisiana’s children’s code related to adoptions. The entire Louisiana Children’s Code is available here, beginning with Article 1167.
Children’s Code Art. 1169. Definitions
As used in this Title:
(1) “Agency” or “child placing agency” includes the Department of Children and Family Services, the corresponding department of any other state, and those private agencies and institutions licensed for the placement of children for adoption by the Department of Children and Family Services or by the corresponding department of any other state.
(2) “Birth certificate” means the child’s official birth certificate or a true copy of a prefiled version of the birth certificate in the event the official birth certificate has not been issued.
(2.1) “Broker” means any person who, for compensation or the expectation of compensation, obtains or offers to obtain a child for adoption from a third party.
(3) “Child” means a person under eighteen years of age and not emancipated by marriage.
(4) “Department” means the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services.
(5) “Putative father registry” means the Louisiana putative father registry established in R.S. 9:400.
Children’s Code Art. 1170. Types of adoption
A. This Title sets forth the exclusive procedures for adoption of minor children in Louisiana. There are three types of adoption of minor children in Louisiana:
(1) Agency adoption.
(2) Private adoption.
(3) Intrafamily adoption.
B. The procedures governing each type of adoption are set forth in the following Articles.
Children’s Code Art. 1180. Venue and jurisdiction in adoption
A. A proceeding for the adoption of a child may be commenced in either:
(1) The juvenile court in the parish of the domicile of the petitioner.
(2) The juvenile court in the parish of the domicile of the custodian of the child.
(3) The juvenile court in the parish in which a voluntary act of surrender has been executed with respect to the child to be adopted.
(4) The juvenile court in which the child has been adjudicated a child in need of care or in which the child in need of care proceeding is pending.
(5) The juvenile court which previously terminated parental rights of a parent with respect to the child to be adopted.
B. An attorney at law named as representative of the prospective adoptive parent shall not be deemed the legal custodian of the child for purposes of proper jurisdiction or venue.
C. Upon filing of the act of voluntary surrender approved by the court according to Article 1131(C), the court of competent venue and jurisdiction wherein the surrender is filed shall have exclusive, original jurisdiction over all issues of custody and adoption of the child during the pendency of the proceedings, unless the child is in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services.
Art. 1182. Records of adoption decrees
A. Whenever an interlocutory decree of adoption has been granted, the clerk of court shall forward a certified copy of the decree to the Department of Children and Family Services.
B. Whenever a final decree of adoption has been granted with regard to a child born in Louisiana, the clerk of court shall forward, on a form supplied by the Department of Children and Family Services, a certificate of the decree to the state registrar of vital records.
Art. 1183. Reports of annulments of adoption decrees
The clerk of court shall prepare, within ten days after a decree of annulment of adoption becomes final, a certificate of the decree of annulment on forms furnished by the state registrar of vital records. On or before the fifteenth day of each month, the clerk shall forward any certificates prepared by him during the preceding calendar month to the state registrar of vital records.
Art. 1193. Persons whose consent or relinquishment is required
Unless rights have been terminated in accordance with Title X or XI, consent to the adoption of a child or relinquishment of parental rights shall be required of the following:
(1) The mother of the child.
(2) The father of the child, regardless of the child’s actual paternity, if any of the following apply:
(a) The child is a child born of the marriage in accordance with the Louisiana Civil Code or its legal equivalent in another state.
(b) The father is presumed to be the father of the child in accordance with the Louisiana Civil Code or its legal equivalent in another state.
(3) The alleged father of the child who has established his parental rights in accordance with Chapter 10 of Title XI.
(4) The biological father of the child whose paternity has been determined by a judgment of filiation and who has established his parental rights in accordance with Chapter 10 of Title XI.
(5) The custodial agency which has placed the child for adoption, except that the court may grant the adoption without the consent of the agency if the adoption is in the best interest of the child and there is a finding that the agency has unreasonably withheld its consent.
Art. 1195. Consent to adoption given in open court; effect; Statement of Family History
A. Any parent may give consent to the adoption of his child in open court, provided that all of the following occur:
(1) The parent appears before the court in person.
(2) The court informs the parent of the consequences of his consent.
(3) The parent voluntarily consents to the adoption.
B. Upon acceptance by the court, the parent’s consent to the adoption is irrevocable.
C. Upon acceptance by the court, the parent shall execute the Statement of Family History set forth in Article 1125. All other rights and duties set forth in Chapter 8 of Title XI shall be applicable as if the consent were a surrender.
Art. 1197. Birth certificate requirement
Prior to the initiation of any adoption under the provisions of this Title, the attorney for the petitioners shall obtain a certified copy of the child’s birth certificate, which shall be attached to the petition for adoption.
Art. 1217.1. Reporting requirement; statistical availability
A. For each adopted child, the court shall ensure that the department receives all of the following information:
(1) Whether either of the adopted parents are related to the child.
(2) The age of the child at placement.
(3) The age of the child at the time of finalization.
(4) The gender of the child.
(5) The race of the child.
(6) The location of placement.
(7) Other nonidentifying information the department requests in order to maintain statistical records of adoption finalizations.
B. The department shall release yearly statistics on adoptions and placements of children in Louisiana. These statistics shall be made available to the public.
Art. 1218. Effect of final decree
A. Except as otherwise provided in this Title, upon a final decree of agency adoption, the parents of the child whose rights have not been previously terminated by a surrender or a judgment of termination and all other blood relatives of the child are relieved of all their legal duties and divested of all their legal rights with regard to the adopted child, including the right of inheritance from the adopted child and his lawful descendants, and the adopted child is relieved of all of his legal duties and divested of all his legal rights with regard to the parents, except as provided in Paragraph B.
B. The right of the child to inherit from his parents and other blood relatives is unaffected by the adoption.
C. Under the circumstances and pursuant to the procedures authorized by Chapter 14 of this Title, grandparents may obtain limited visitation rights to the adopted child.
D. Parents, grandparents, siblings, or other relatives by blood, adoption, or affinity who have an established and significant relationship may be allowed continuing contact with an adopted child in accordance with Chapter 14-A of this Title.
Art. 1219. Change of name
The full name of the adopted child may be changed in the final decree of agency adoption and, if changed, the surname shall be the same as that of the adoptive parent.
Art. 1243. Persons who may petition for intrafamily adoption
A. A stepparent, stepgrandparent, great-grandparent, grandparent, or collaterals within the twelfth degree may petition to adopt a child if all of the following elements are met:
(1) The petitioner is related to the child by blood, adoption, or affinity through the mother of the child or through a father who is filiated to the child in accordance with the Civil Code.
(2) The petitioner is a single person over the age of eighteen or a married person whose spouse is a joint petitioner.
(3) The petitioner has had legal or physical custody of the child for at least six months prior to filing the petition for adoption.
B. (1) 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.
(2) When a petitioner is the grandparent of a child and the petitioner’s spouse is the stepgrandparent of the child and that spouse files an authentic act requesting that the blood relative grandparent petitioner be allowed to file or complete the adoption proceedings as the sole petitioner, then any court of competent jurisdiction may grant the adoption in the same manner as if the grandparent was a single petitioner. Any petitioner and stepgrandparent filing a petition pursuant to this Paragraph shall be required to undergo the background check provided for in Article 1243.2.
Louisiana Law: Adoption Annulment
Art. 1262. Grounds
No action to annul a final decree of adoption of any type may be brought except on the grounds of fraud or duress.
Art. 1263. Time limitations; finality
A. An action to annul a final decree of adoption based upon a claim of fraud or duress perpetrated by anyone other than the adoptive parent must be brought within six months from discovery of the fraud or duress and in no event later than one year from the date of the signing of the final decree or mailing of the judgment when required.
B. An action to annul a final decree of adoption based upon a claim of fraud or duress perpetrated by an adoptive parent must be brought within six months from discovery of the fraud or duress and in no event later than two years from the date of the signing of the final decree or mailing of the judgment when required.
Relevant Louisiana Law: Adoption Registry
Art. 1270. Legislative findings; purpose; release of information
A. Adoption is based upon the legal termination of parental rights and responsibilities of biological parents and the creation of the relationship of parent and child between an adopted person and his adoptive parents. These legal and social premises underlying adoption shall be maintained.
(1) The legislature recognizes that some adults, adopted as children, have a strong interest in identifying information about their biological parents or biological siblings, or both, while other such adult adopted persons have no such interest.
(2) The legislature further recognizes that some biological parents and biological siblings have a strong interest in identifying information about their biological children or siblings who were surrendered for adoption, while others have no such interest.
(3) The legislature also recognizes the potential for special situations whereby other adoptive and biological relatives of an adopted person, such as a parent, sibling, or descendant, or his parent if a minor, of a deceased biological parent and an adoptive parent of a minor or deceased adopted person as well as a descendant of a deceased adopted person, or his parent if a minor, may have a need for identifying information.
(4) The legislature fully recognizes the right to privacy and confidentiality of biological parents whose children were adopted, siblings, adopted persons, and the adoptive family.
B. There is hereby created within the office of children and family services of the Department of Children and Family Services a voluntary registry for the matching of adopted persons, or an adoptive parent of a minor or deceased adopted person, or a descendant of a deceased adopted person, or his parent if a minor, and biological parents or siblings, or both, or a parent, sibling, or descendant, or his parent if a minor, of a deceased biological parent. The purpose of this registry shall be to facilitate voluntary contact between the adopted person, or an adoptive parent of a minor or deceased adopted person, or the descendant of a deceased adopted person, or his parent if a minor, and a biological parent or biological sibling, or both, or a parent, sibling, or descendant, or his parent if a minor, of a deceased biological parent.
C. The use of the registry shall be limited to the adopted person who is at least eighteen years of age, the biological mother, the biological father, parents or siblings or a descendant, or his parent if a minor, of a deceased biological parent, an adoptive parent of a minor or deceased adopted person or a descendant of a deceased adopted person, or his parent if a minor, and any biological sibling who is at least eighteen years of age.
D. No registration by an adopted person shall be permitted until all biological siblings who were adopted by the same adoptive parent or parents have reached the age of eighteen years.
E. The office of children and family services shall not release any registry information in violation of this Chapter.
F. The office of children and family services shall confirm for an adopted person the fact of his adoption and identify the court in which the adoption was finalized and the agency, firm, or lawyer facilitating the adoption when that information is known. To receive this information, the adopted person shall be eighteen years of age or older, provide proof of identity, and submit a written request.
Art. 1271. Registration
A. Registration shall be by affidavit filed with the office of children and family services. That office shall develop and furnish standardized affidavit forms appropriate for effecting the purpose of this Chapter.
B. Registration shall be effective upon filing and shall remain effective until withdrawn by the affiant’s written request.
C. The department may establish registration and renewal fees not to exceed twenty-five dollars.
Art. 1272. Matching; verification by original documents; mandatory counseling
A. The office of community services shall regularly monitor registrant affidavits, utilizing computer services if necessary, to determine whether affidavits have been filed by a registrant as enumerated in Article 1270.
B. If there appears to be a match between current registrants, the office of community services shall notify the registrants of the match and of the counseling requirements of Paragraph D of this Article. Upon verification that each registered person has met the requirements the office of community services shall provide the details of the match to the licensed clinical social worker, social worker acting in the employ of a licensed adoption agency, licensed professional counselor, licensed psychologist, licensed psychiatrist, or licensed marriage and family therapist that provided counseling for the registrant, who shall then contact the registered and matched parties in a careful and confidential manner and give them the information necessary to contact each other.
C. If doubt exists that any registrants are biologically related, the office of community services shall advise them to file a motion with the court having jurisdiction and request permission to open the sealed adoption record for verification. Such verification shall be a compelling reason, within the meaning of Article 1189, to open the adoption records for the limited purpose of verification.
D. Each registrant shall participate in not less than one hour of counseling with a licensed clinical social worker, a social worker acting in the employ of a licensed adoption agency, a licensed professional counselor, a licensed psychologist, medical psychologist, a licensed psychiatrist, or a licensed marriage and family therapist before they will be put in contact with one another.
Art. 1273. Confidentiality
Documents filed with the office of children and family services, pursuant to this Chapter, shall be confidential and shall not be available for inspection, except under the procedures set forth in this Chapter.
Art. 1274. Penalties
Any employee or former employee of the Department of Children and Family Services, or a licensed adoption agency, or any employee or appointee or former employee or appointee of a court who discloses identifying information other than pursuant to judicial order or through the registry, as provided in this Chapter, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not less than five hundred dollars and not more than five thousand dollars, or imprisoned for not more than six months, or both.
Art. 1275. Nondisclosure
A. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, the information acquired by the voluntary registry of Louisiana shall not be disclosed under any sunshine or freedom of information legislation, rules, or practice.
B. Notwithstanding any provision of law to the contrary, no person, group of persons, or entity, including an agency, may file a class action to force the voluntary registry to disclose identifying information.
Art. 1276. Disclosure of death of biological parents and adopted persons
When one or both of the biological parents are deceased, or when the adopted person is deceased and this fact is known by the voluntary registry or by the licensed adoption agency, firm, or lawyer which originally placed the adopted person for adoption, this information shall be disclosed to any person permitted to register pursuant to Article 1270 and who has registered with the office of community services under the provisions of this Chapter, and the registered persons shall then be afforded the option of deciding whether they still desire to avail themselves of the contact opportunity provided through the voluntary registry.
Art. 1277. Other remedies not affected
Nothing contained in this Chapter shall limit a person’s right to proceed under Chapter 5 of this Title to obtain confidential adoption information.
Louisiana Law: Adult Adoption
Louisiana law related to adult adoptions.
Civil Code Art. 212. Adult adoption requirements
A person who has attained the age of majority may be adopted without judicial authorization only when the adoptive parent is the spouse or the surviving spouse of a parent of the person to be adopted.
In other proposed adult adoptions, the court, upon the joint petition of the adoptive parent and the person to be adopted, may authorize the adoption of a person who has attained the age of majority if the court finds after a hearing that the adoption is in the best interest of both parties.
Civil Code Art. 213. Adult adoption; form
The adoptive parent and the person to be adopted shall consent to the adoption in an authentic act of adoption.
The spouse of the adoptive parent and the spouse of the person to be adopted shall sign the act of adoption for the purpose of concurrence in the adoption only. The act of adoption without this concurrence is absolutely null. The concurrence does not establish the legal relationship of parent and child.
Neither a party to an adult adoption nor a concurring spouse may consent by procuration or mandate.
Civil Code Art. 214. Adult adoption; recordation requirement
The adoption is effective when the act of adult adoption and any judgment required to authorize the adoption are filed for registry, except as otherwise provided by law.
Rev. Stat. § 9:461. Effect of adult adoption by stepparent
In an adoption in accordance with the first paragraph of Civil Code Article 212, if the adoptive parent is married to a parent of the adopted child at the time of the adoption or was married to a parent at the time of the death of the parent, the relationship of that parent and his relatives to the adopted child shall remain unaltered and unaffected by the adoption.
Rev. State. § 9:462. Adult adoption; effective date of adoption
Notwithstanding the general provisions of Civil Code Article 214, if the act of adult adoption is filed within five days, exclusive of legal holidays, after the date of the last signature required for validity of the act, the adoption shall be effective as of the date of the last signature.
Rev. Stat. § 9:463. Adult adoption; recordation
A. An act of adult adoption executed in accordance with the first paragraph of Civil Code Article 212 shall be filed for registry with the clerk of court of any parish. If court authorization is required by the second paragraph of Civil Code Article 212, the judgment with the act of adoption shall be filed for registry with the clerk of court of any parish.
B. The clerk shall record the acts of adoption in the conveyance records. Within two business days of filing the act of adoption, the clerk shall transmit to the Louisiana Department of Health, office of public health, vital records registry, such information as may be required by the rules of the department for indexing the adoption. The vital records registry shall index the adoption under the name of the adoptive parent or parents and the person being adopted and shall make reference to the day of filing and the parish where the original act of adoption is recorded. The failure of the clerk or the department to comply with the provisions of this Subsection does not affect the adoption.
Sheilah Lewis says
I am trying to find the parents of my grandfather. He was adopted when he was born in 1905. I am on ancestry .com but his parents aren’t actually his parents so i would just like to see the family tree on his side but i don’t know how to find that out. His name was Carl Hicks at birth Nov. 15, 2015 in Louisiana i believe. Webb and Mattie Brown adopted him. He was their only child.
Mary Eleanor Urso says
Take the AncestryDNA test. Also, once you have done that, if you can’t find sufficient matches to solve your puzzle, hire Ancestry’s ProGenealogists (a genetic genealogy firm). They are terrific! I am an adoptee who took the AncestryDNA test. I was able to find out who my mother was, but I had to hire ProGenealogists to uncover the mystery of my father’s identity. They solved the mystery quickly and easily. A DNA test by one of his sons confirmed that they were correct. Unless you are good at triangulation, I highly recommend them. Ask for Michael Miller and tell him I referred them to you.
Michael Jamieson says
What about family tree purposes or genealogy purposes? Medical information
No- rarely does this ever happen
Florens Hadzic says
What if someone has Crohns disease and wants so background in genes and the father’s records are sealed. Can they get them unsealed for that? Also, the granddaughter has a hearing impairment. Hown much would a lawyer cost for this?
Every attorney has different rates, Florens. But you will not succeed in unsealing records for Crohns or deafness. Even people needing bone marrow are denied. La is sealed.
Thomas Lonergan says
So… What you are saying is, that even though I was adopted at 13 years old, and eventually reunited with and knew my actual parents before they passed on, and met my long lost siblings briefly, that the only document of my birth that I am allowed to possess is basically a fraud which states that I was born to parents who did not conceive me? Because Louisiana? $500.00 and “counseling”, for the true documents? Another feudalistic racket which is to be expected from the likes of these criminals. We have been “displaced”. If you are aware of any successful attempts with these folks, or possible strategies, please inform me. Thanks, Tom- ( Have you ever been to New Orleans?- Welcome to Sicily, Baby!)
Hello, does anyone here know if obtaining citizenship in a foreign country through proof of descent or ancestry counts as a “compelling reason”? My mother’s biological father was a Greek citizen. He was married to her mother (my grandmother), but he died when my mother was 3 years old. When my grandmother remarried a few years later, her second husband legally adopted my mother, so her birth certificate changed. Now my mother and I are applying for Greek citizenship, and need to provide her original, pre-adoption birth certificate that shows her Greek father’s name. Any advice on whether or not this is a compelling reason to get the original birth certificate, and/or any recommendations on a lawyer in New Orleans who can help us with the court order, would be appreciated.
Anita Vigara says
I am 76 years old with many health problems including bladder cancer diabetes thyroid desease. I think I have a right to know where I came from
Mary Eleanor Urso says
I am almost 71, was born in Louisiana, and was adopted twice. I petitioned the Court in Bossier Parish where I was born and received my entire file. Guess what! I was never issued an original birth certificate. Long story, but I was born at Barksdale AFB. My adoption was prearranged so my adoptive parents mistakenly filled out the birth certificate. It was rejected, but by the time it was my father had been sent to the Pacific (WWII) and my mother had left for parts unknown. My adoptive mother died when I was eight and my adoptive father remarried. We were living in New Orleans. They decided that the new wife should formally adopt me. So my first adoptive BC was sealed and I was issued a second adoptive BC. I petitioned the Court in Orleans Parish and got my adoption recordswith a birth certificate. I actually petitioned New Orleans first. My reason was simple but did not follow any of what the state considers a reason. My husband was traveling to Italy and I wanted to go with him. I didn’t have a passport and couldn’t satisfy the stringent post 9/11 requirements for obtaining a passport. I had to have a birth certificate that was recorded within the first year after my birth. When I got the birth certificate that had been sealed by the Orleans Parish Court, I realized that my first adoptive BC was recorded 15 months after my birth. At that point I petitioned Bossier Parish. Although they had no original BC, they gave me my whole adoption file and with that I was able to secure my passport and travel to Italy.
Nora Clark says
My name is Nora Clark and I am a biological mother of three adopted children who are 32, 29 and 27. Kimberly Cook who is the 32 years old who was adopted in 1988 was supposed to be an open adoption through OCFS. Anne Marie Smith who is 29 and Christopher David Smith 27 were taken away and my parental rights terminated over unfounded accusations. I was told that because I was sexually abused as a child that I would also sexually abuse my children. They had nothing pointing to me sexually abusing my children other than the fact that I did everything humanly possible to help Anne Marie recover from sexual abuse bestowed upon her by my step-mother and her boyfriend while I was in prison. My only living son Christopher David was physically abused by his father while I was in Arkansas told OCFS that father hurt him and they said that I was responsible because I had legal custody. I have Diabetes, Asthma, a rare Kidney disease and have had Ovarian, Cervical, Bladder and Skin Cancer is this compelling enough for the courts to unseal my children’s adoption records?
Barbara Meeks says
My mother married twice and 3 kids. She divorced and remarried again when I was a toddler. So her 3rd husband adopted all 3 kids. We all know our biological father. The parents who raised me are deceased. I would like a copy of my Original bc for my records. After all it is MY record. So what I am reading is that Louisiana will not allow me to have my own record! That is stupid!!!!
Angelia Stone says
I just recently found out that my grandmother gave birth to a daughter in 1925 in New Orleans and delivered her at the Catholic Orphanage and left her there to be adopted. she was adopted in1928. I found all this out from a lady who is the daughter of the adopted child. She has spent many, many years helping her mother find her adopted parents. I read that Louisiana is very strict on sealed records. I also read somewhere that after 100 years you could get the records opened. I was wondering if this is true? Everyone that would have knowledge of all of this has long been gone. We want the records open just to see if the information could answer some questions we have. The information would not hurt anyone anymore just just give their descendents some closure. I live in Georgia and just wondering if it is a waste of my time and money trying to pursue this ?
Bethany Chance says
Louisiana just changed to law, despite stupid objections from pro-life people who think this will discourage people for putting their baby up for adoption, and get an abortion instead. Fortunately, and unbelievably, enough of their congress thought women should be more than a brood mare, and that adoptees had a right to know their heritage. I’ll get off my soapbox now. Is there a procedure to follow and what does it cost. Because if you needed 1000 bucks on the off change that you might get the document, I’m sure these clowns will charge much more now that they can guarantee you’ll receive it. Thanks for updates
Gregory D. Luce says
The procedure is not set yet but I’ll have an FAQ with links once things are available. It takes effect on August 1, 2022, so that will be the date people can begin applying for the original birth certificate. Update: here is the FAQ about the new law.
Louisiana Coalition for Adoption Reform says
Act 470 restores the right to all Louisiana adopted people to access their own original birth certificate upon demand, without hinderances upon the age of 24
Follow https://www.facebook.com/LaAdoptReform for all accurate and current information regarding the new Act 470, any questions you may have and its implementation 🎉
Alida L Miller says
Well today is 1 August 2022 and I would love to get my original Adoption Information and Birth Certificate but the website has not changed since I was in it last. So how do I get my records from the State of Louisiana. My birth mother whom I have never known is now deceased and I would love to find my birth father. I would also love to know if I have any siblings. My life isn’t yet complete because of this unknown. I am 63 and was adopted in Shreveport, Louisiana, Caddo Parish.
Gregory D. Luce says
The new law is in effect and the Louisiana Department of Health is accepting applications from adult adopted people. I have a FAQ about the new law here and you can scroll up on this page to get there as well. The Department of Health’s webpage with forms and instructions is also here.
The website changed on July 20,2022, to allow access to the forms: https://ldh.la.gov/page/4494.
Louisiana Coalition For Adoption Reform is happy to answer any questions.