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 May 5, 2016 |

The adoption process is quite complicated, and there are many issues to address. In many adoption cases, one matter that must be settled is the amount of contact, if any, a biological parent will have post-divorce. For many Louisianan adoptive parents, this contact is unacceptable for a number of personal reasons. Parents may believe that it might confuse the child, generate anger and frustration within the child or cause logistical nightmares. The courts typically tend to agree, thereby keeping adoption files closed. This means that even the adopted child cannot have access to his or her biological parent’s information unless they can show a compelling reason.

Recently, though, efforts were made to provide these adopted individuals with a route to contact their biological parents upon filing a motion with the court. House Bill 391 would have appointed a confidential intermediary who could contact biological parents to gauge whether further contact was agreeable or if more information could be gathered.

Many saw this bill as an attempt to protect the rights of children by giving them the ability to seek out their biological parents if they so wished. Others, though, saw this as an infringement on the rights of biological parents who have chosen to give up their children for adoption, or those who have had their parental rights terminated.

Regardless of one’s position, adoption files will generally remain closed unless a judge finds a compelling reason for opening it, as the bill did not receive the votes needed in the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure to move to the full House for a vote. As this issue highlights, though, there are many complicated issues surrounding adoption. Thus, those who are considering adoption may want to discuss it with a legal professional so that they can determine what needs to be done to ensure as smooth and happy of a process as possible.

Source: The Advocate, “Louisiana Bill to make way for adopted people to reach out to biological parents rejected,” Rebekah Allen, April 18, 2016

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