Things You Can Do On LAAB's Website
Adoptees can learn about getting non-identifying info from their original birth certificate.
Get info on upcoming adoption conferences and events in Louisiana.
Birthparents can find a support group
Learn about adopting an older child in foster care.
"In all of us there is a hunger, marrow-deep, to know our heritage--to know who we are and where we have come from. Without this enriching knowledge, there is a hollow yearning." Alex Haley
Adoptees Can Now Get Their Original Birth Certificate
The new state law allowing Louisiana adoptees over age 24 access to their original birth certificate went into effect Aug. 1, 2022. This major step forward in adoptee rights makes it possible for adoptees to get previously hidden information about their origins.
Louisiana is now one of 13 states that allow adoptees access to their original birth certificates.
When an adoption is finalized, the state issues a new revised, official birth certificate with the adoptive parents’ names. The adoptee’s original or pre-adoption birth certificate, which lists the birthparents’ names and information, is then placed in a sealed file. This document is now available to adoptees upon request.
What’s the process? Step one is visiting the page on the state website which provides instructions. The link to this page is above.
This page contains a form, which adoptees must print, fill out and mail in. A link to this form is above. The form must be signed and submitted by mail with a non-refundable $15.50 fee and copy of your ID. Online requests are not available.
The new law also contains a provision for birthparents who placed a child in adoption in Louisiana. There’s a new Contact Preference Form, also linked above, which allows them to note whether they would or would not like to be contacted by their biological child. This form will be given to adoptees requesting their original birth certificate.
This form is designed to be a private communication between birthparent and child. It’s important to note that the law does not require adoptees to follow the preference stated on the form. Adoptees may request their original birth certificate even if their birthparents have not filed this form.
LAAB members lobby the legislature with the bill's sponsor. From left are Karen Babin, Rep. Charles Owen, Linda Woods, Jeanette Livingston and Della Pressler.
Help Is Available
LAAB, as a nonprofit statewide resource for the adoption community, is available to help. Contact us if you have questions about accessing your original birth certificate, or if you got your certificate and wonder what to do next. Our members are adoptees, birthparents and adoptive parents. We have long experience in dealing with the complex issues of adoption.
Things To Know
. Obviously, the new state law applies only to adoptees born in Louisiana.
. The original birth certificate is available only to the adoptee. Other family members may not request it.
. The birth certificate issued with the adoptive parents’ names is still the adoptees’ legal birth certificate.
. Documentation is needed if the adoptee’s current name on their ID does not match the name on their revised birth certificate. If you’ve changed your name through marriage or other situations, you must provide a copy of the marriage certificate or legal name change document.
. There is an option for adoptees who have no access to a printer. Adoptees can write a letter containing the requested information and send it to the state. Instructions are on the webpage.
. Payment may be made through checks and money orders only. These should be payable to Louisiana Vital Records.
Here is the department's contact info.
Louisiana Vital Records
Attn: Pre-Adoption Certificates
P.O. Box 60630
New Orleans, LA 70160
For more information, call (504) 593-5100.
LAAB members and friends working for HB 450 in the Senate gallery.
Governor Signs Access To Original Birth Certificate Bill
June 24, 2022--Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed HB 450, giving adopted persons born in Louisiana the right to access their original birth certificates once they reach age 24. The law takes effect Aug. 1. This is a giant step forward for adoptees' rights, and LAAB helped lead the statewide campaign to ensure its passage.
The legislature passed the bill with bipartisan support in both the House and Senate. The bill was introduced by Rep. Charles Owen, an adoptee from Rosepine. Thanks to all who joined us in contacting legislators and encouraging passage.
Watch a clip from social media capturing the reaction of LAAB members and other adoption-rights supporters as the Senate passes HB 450.
Read HB 450.
Check out news coverage of the bill and LAAB members' advocacy from WWL-TV Aug. 1 by Alex Tirado, LAIlluminator June 23, Advocate March 25, LAIlluminator March 25, Advocate March 28, WAFB, LAIlluminator March 29, LAIlluminator March 24 and Advocate March 21.
Why LAAB Works To Give Adoptees Access
To Their Original Birth Certificate
Read two letters, published in the Advocate, from LAAB Chair Jeanette Livingstone and Rep. Owen, sponsor of HB 450. They explain the issue and its effects on adoptees and birth parents.
New Orleans Adoptees Connect With Sisters In Ukraine
In international adoption, connecting with birth family
members can be challenging. The story of the Fielkow family
describes how sisters united across time and continents.
Read the article.
For 50 Years, I Was Denied
the Story of My Birth
All adoptees deserve better. By Steve Inskeep
Mr. Inskeep, a co-host of NPR’s “Morning Edition” and “Up First,” is an adoptee and an adoptive father.
Adoption Tale: Uncovering A
Watch this feature from March 21’s CBS News Sunday Morning. Correspondent Rita Braver talks with two families who, late in life, discovered their shared connection owing to a young woman having been coerced into giving up her baby.
Read an excerpt from the book American Baby: A Mother, a Child, and the Shadow History of Adoption, by Gabrielle Glaser, featured in this report.
DNA Testing For Adoptees: Watch, Learn
DNA expert and author Richard Hill presents a free presentation
as part of a Facebook Live series sponsored by My Heritage. View the presentation on the MyHeritage Facebook page. Hill, a friend of LAAB, was the first adoptee to find his birth family through DNA testing.
Watch LAAB's Webinar
An Adoptee's Search For Birthparents: A Challenging Journey
Noted author Gary Stewart, a Baton Rouge adoptee, was the speaker at LAAB's first virtual conference on Wednesday, Nov. 18. Stewart discussed his dramatic search for his birthfather and reunion with his birthmother. Stewart's book, The Most Dangerous Animal Of All, was made into a recent FX television series of the same name. Stewart used his story to explore issues common to adoptees as they seek identity and wholeness through a search for birthparents.
Birth Parents Support Network
All birth parents are invited to join this LAAB support group.
The group's mission is to come together to support, encourage and listen to each other. The group is non-judgmental and confidential. Contact Jeanette Livingston to learn more.
A national project that supports child welfare systems and connects children in foster care with families.
Congressional Coalition on Adoption® and its Angels in Adoption® Program
Nonprofit, nonpartisan organization dedicated to raising awareness about the millions of children around the world in need of permanent, safe, and loving homes.
Supports, educates, inspires, and advocates so adoptive families thrive and every child in foster care has a permanent, safe, loving family.