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How do I qualify to adopt a child in Louisiana?

If you are thinking about adopting a child, then you are considering making a huge difference in a child's life. There are many children across Louisiana who are without permanent homes, and the decision to bring one of them into your family means giving them the forever home they deserve. But the process is regulated to ensure child safety and adoptive parents' ability to provide care for the child.

So how do you qualify to be an adoptive parent? First, though it's not required, it should be noted that Louisiana recognizes a dual certification to be both a foster parent and an adoptive parent. Why is this important? Certified foster parents may be eligible for certain benefits that non-certified individuals aren't afforded. Regardless, to qualify to adopt a child you must be 21 or older, have a sufficient income, and be in good overall health. Your marital status is inconsequential when adopting.

If you meet these qualifications, then you will need to attend an orientation to learn more about the adoption process. Here, you can also learn more about subsidies and how certain actions may allow you to obtain compensation to help you care for the child. You will also need to go through thorough background checks, including a home study. These steps are meant to ensure that you are ready to care for the child and that the child isn't placed with someone who has a history that may prove detrimental to the child.

Going through the adoption process can be worrisome, particularly when issues arise with regard to background checks, subsidies, and contestations to the adoption. If you are thinking about adopting a child, you may want to speak with a legal professional who can help guide you through the process and ensure your rights and best interests are protected.

Source: Department of Children & Family Services, "Foster/Adoptive Parent Informational Booklet," accessed on Aug. 12, 2016

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