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New law accelerates Louisiana adoptions

A new law just signed by Louisiana's governor will have the effect of simplifying the adoption process in the state. The statute is called "The Faith in Families Act." The statute is particularly good news for special needs children and the families that adopt them, since medical costs and other extra adoption expenses may now be subsidized by the government.

If parents have gone through the approval process to be foster parents, under the new law the adoption process in court will be accelerated. The new statute will also effectively shorten the waiting time to have adoptions finalized.

Part of the reason for the changes was to make sure that Louisiana is in compliance with federal law regarding foster care, since approximately 80 percent of all funding for foster care programs in the state comes currently from the federal government. Accordingly, it was feared that failure to alter the law might endanger the continuation of the financing.

Under the new law, adoptive parents and foster children will receive more support and incentives and the previous adoption process, described by many as overly complex and convoluted, will be simplified and streamlined. Children who are adopted in the middle of the school year will be enabled to stay in whatever school they are currently attending for the rest of the school year, preventing much upheaval in their lives. The adopted children are then authorized to sign up to attend a new school in their home district, based on where their adoptive parents live, during the following school year.

There are currently approximately 500 children in Louisiana ready to be adopted. It is hoped that the new easier procedures will speed up the rate at which more of them find new permanent homes. Experienced adoption attorneys understand all the ins and outs of the new law and are ready to guide prospective parents through the process.

Source:  Nola.com, "Jindal signs legislation streamlining Louisiana adoption process" Sheila V. Kumar, May. 31, 2013

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