In order for many Louisianan adoptions to occur, adoption consents must be signed. Typically, only biological parents can consent to adoption, but it might also be necessary to acquire consent from a custodial agency that has placed a child up for adoption. Obtaining these consents may not always be easy, and negotiation via a post-adoption contact agreement may be necessary to obtain them. Sometimes consent is not needed to adopt, though, such as when parental rights have been terminated.
When adoption consents are necessary, there are certain steps that must be followed in order for them to be valid. Ensuring that these steps are followed is critical, as invalid consents could destroy the adoption process and cause unexpected legal nightmares further down the road. Some of the biggest characteristics that must be present in order for a consent to be valid includes ensuring that the biological parent is mentally competent and fully understands what he or she is consenting to. Additionally, under Louisiana law, a biological parent must receive counseling sessions prior to surrendering his or her rights to the trial.
This is just a few of the requirements that must be met before a consent can be rendered valid; there are others. It is important to note that, even if these requirements are met, adoption consents are not valid until execution and acceptance by the court. During the emotional process of consenting to adoption, a biological parent may try to revoke their consent or claim that their consent was made under duress.
Louisianans who are thinking about adoption need to ensure that they protect their legal rights. By being fully prepared before embarking on the adoption journey, a pre-adoptive parent can avoid lingering legal issues and challenges to the adoption’s validity. At a time when a pre-adoptive parent wants to give a child a loving and caring home, getting the process over as quickly as possible and as legally sound as possible is often a priority. This is why it might be wise to seek legal counsel when dealing with an adoption.
Source: Child Welfare Information Gateway, “Consent to Adoption,” accessed on Oct. 7, 2016