5 Facts About Louisiana Adult Adoptions

November means it's National Adoption Month. We know what you're thinking: this is Slidell area lawyer for service dog law Amber Sheppard so it must be pet adoption month, right? Not this time, friends. This month is about human adoptions which is something that is near and dear to our hearts here at Sheppard Law. Did you know we were adopted? Tubbs was of course but Amber was too. As an adult.

"Wait, what? That's a thing?" It sure it is and it is pretty nifty statute here in Louisiana.

What Is An Adult Adoption & Why Would Someone Want One?

An adult adoption is a unique family law device here in Louisiana. While it isn't rocket science, it is very easy to "mess up": it's when a person over the age of 18 wants to be adopted by someone who raised them. This can be a step-parent, grandparent, family friend: you name it. Typically it's done for sentimental reasons but it can also be done for estate planning purposes.

Now, if you want someone to adopt you as an adult to skirt some legal issues, it's more likely than not the Court isn't going to allow it. It's an adult adoption but it's still an adoption so the Court will be looking at the best interest of the parties here.

Who Can Ask for An Adult Adoption?

Under Louisiana Civil Code Article 212 these folks are "allowed" to ask for an adult adoption:

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.

"Ok, cool, Amber but what in the heck does that even mean?"

  • If you're over 18 then you, along with your biological (this includes adoptive as well) parent and your step-parent can ask for an adoption through an authentic act (this is when you both sign a form in front of two uninterested witnesses and a notary)....without needing a judge's signature and formal petition.
  • If you're over 18 then you, along with your step-parent (if your biological or adoptive parent has passed) can ask for an adoption through an authentic act....without needing a judge's signature and formal petition. Note: if your step-parent is remarried then their spouse must consent.
  • If you're over 18 then you and whomever you want to adopt you must file a Petition with the court and lay out why it's in both of yall's best interest to do this.

Someone who lacks cognitive capacity cannot ask for an adult adoption. If you are looking for an adoption of an adult for that reason then you will need to look into an Interdiction Proceeding, not an adoption.

Even your Slidell emotional support dog can assist you when you are determining if you want to apply for an adult adoption. We don't recommend letting them fill out the paperwork because as you can see here, their computers may be toys and not actually operational.

How Do I Get An Adult Adoption?

If you are over 18 and were born and still live in Louisiana, then you and your proposed adoptive parent (and spouses of each) and biological parent can fill out an authentic act with a notary (PSST- most lawyers in LA are also notaries but confirm that with your lawyer first) and that's it.

But if you (1) weren't born here, (2) don't live here anymore, or (3) are not a step-parent or surviving step-parent, then you're going to have to file a Petition with the Court in Louisiana. This is going to include Affidavits by each Petitioner (you, your bio parent, proposed adoptive parent), Consent Affidavits by all of your spouses if you are married, a Proposed Order, your original birth certificate, any marriage certificates, and reasons why you should be adopted.

Failure to get spousal consent for you or the adoptive parent makes the adoption null. So make sure you don't forget that!

Do I Have To File An Adult Adoption With The Clerk Of Court?

If you were born in Louisiana and adopted in Louisiana then: yes. You have to file your Authentic Act of Adoption with the Clerk of Court in your parish. After that, you have to send a certified copy on over to Louisiana Vital Records along with a copy of your original birth certificate.

If you were not born in Louisiana then typically: yes. You'll file a Petition for Adult Adoption in the parish you reside in and with that, you'll also file your Authentic Act of Adoption. But the extra step here is that a Judge must sign an Order granting the adult adoption. Why? Most other states require a court order in order to make any changes on a birth certificate. You will need to submit a certified copy of that order and your original birth certificate to that state's Vital Records. What that process looks like depends on each state.

Does This Automatically Change My Name?

Nope. You have to file a Petition to Request A Name Change where you reside and the District Attorney has to not object to it. If this is what you want to do then you should file the DA's affidavit stating they do not object to the Name Change when you submit your other paperwork to your birth state's Vital Records office.

Need help with an adult adoption in Louisiana? Feel free to give us a call or text us at 985-265-7196 or shoot us a meeting request here.

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