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Adoption and the termination of parental rights in Louisiana

Giving a child in need a safe and secure home may sound easy enough, especially when a family is willing and able, but that is not always the case. An adoption may be contested and, before even getting to that point, biological parents may fight the termination of their parental rights.

Under Louisiana law, a petition to terminate parental rights can be filed at certain times, including after the child has been removed from the parents' care under state custody 17 out of the last 22 months. Although the state usually takes this action, foster parents can file a petition if the state fails to do so. The foster parents need only show the removal, that the child is in state custody and that the child's permanency plan is adoption. It is important to note that these requirements are only for the filing of a petition and not for the actual termination of parental rights.

The termination of parental rights can be a lengthy and emotionally difficult time for all parties involved. While the process is playing out, pre-adoptive parents can begin preparing themselves for adoption so that, in the event that parental rights are terminated, they are ready to move the adoption along at a much quicker pace.

Preparing for adoption can include difficult family law issues, as well as the need to get the necessary documentation in order. Getting more information can help a pre-adoptive family better understand the adoption process to ensure their best interests are protected.

Source: Louisiana State Legislature, "Art. 1004," accessed on Feb. 12, 2016

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