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Adoption Privacy Laws In Louisiana Might Be Changing

Up until recently, closed adoptions were the most common type of adoption in Louisiana. During these adoptions, birth parents were told that they could place the baby for adoption with a guarantee of confidentiality. That guarantee might not be valid if HB 1028 passes. The bill, which passed the House Committee on Civil Law and Procedure with a 9 to 1 vote, would allow adoptees the opportunity to look at their birth records, which might identify their birth parents.

The associate director of the Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops says that he thinks some sort of compromise will be necessary before the bill gets to the floor. He said the bishops want to protect the privacy of birth parents, while allowing adoptees to have access to medical history information. Knowing medical information seems to be a key point that both sides of the adoption information issue can agree upon.

While adoptions that occur now usually include detailed medical histories of the birth parents and their family members, people adopted before that became commonplace don’t have access to that information. With some adoptees reaching middle age, knowing their birth family health history is imperative.

One adoptee says that people who are adopted “have a right to know who they are.” Coupled with the need for medical information, the sponsor of the bill is looking to move past the opposition. One legislator who opposes portions of the bill acknowledges that there is a compromise out there, but it hasn’t yet been reached. A similar bill was previously introduced but failed to pass the full Senate.

For parents who are considering adoption, learning what to expect from an experienced family law attorney can help them to understand exactly how the adoption will work, as well as providing information about privacy issues.

Source: The New Orleans Advocate, “Panel advances bill opening adoption birth certificates” Mark Ballard, Apr. 09, 2014

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