Louisiana foster care and adoption guidelines
Although you may be a resident of Louisiana, you are not limited to adopting a child from Louisiana. You can adopt a child born in any other state.
On this page:
- Licensing requirements for foster or adoption
- Costs to foster and adopt
- Post-adoption suppor services
- Agency contact and orientation information
- Information on Louisiana's children
- You must have adequate bedroom space for a child. A child may share a bedroom with another child of the same sex, but the child cannot share a bedroom with anyone over the age of 18 years old.
- No foster/adoptive parent(s) shall have more than five children under the age of 18, including foster children and their own children; the total number of children shall not exceed five.
- It is important that your home is safe and free of hazards. During the home study process, your home development worker will conduct a safety inspection of your home. You must have working smoke detectors and a fire extinguisher.
- Being a parent can sometimes be demanding. You must be healthy and emotionally stable to care for children. Everyone in your home must provide a medical statement completed by a physician indicating they are free of communicable diseases (i.e., tuberculosis). If they are not free from a communicable disease, a physician must provide a statement stating that the patient is compliant with treatment.
- If you have had a valid child protection case, you may not be able to become a foster or adoptive parent. We will review records in Louisiana, as well as any other state where you have resided.
- You do not have to be rich to become a foster or adoptive parent, however, you must have enough income to meet your own family’s needs. During the home study process, you will be asked to provide proof of income and to review family expenses.
- Foster or adoptive parents can be single, married, divorced or widowed.
- If you or any adult residing in your home has been convicted of certain criminal offenses, you cannot become a foster or adoptive parent.
It does not cost to foster.
Thousands of families adopt for no cost or very little cost. The Department of Youth and Family Services (DCFS) does not charge fees, but if you choose a private agency, they may charge fees. Call the individual agencies below or contact us to find out more.
Learn about the support available to families who adopt in your state:
- Primary provider: Department of Children and Family Services, Child Welfare. Contact your parish to access services.
- Louisiana Adoption Advisory Board, Inc. (LAAB)
- Louisiana Foster and Adoptive Parent Association
- St. Elizabeth Foundation (SEF)
Orientation is conducted by the local Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in each region. Orientations are informational sessions designed to answer the basic questions of prospective parents and to guide them through the process of fostering and adopting. Orientations are held every 21 days. Call your local office to find the next session in your area.
To learn more about a private agency, including information on their orientations, please contact the individual agencies below:
- Beacon House Adoption Services, Inc. (BHAS)
Toll-Free Phone: 888-987-6300
Address: 5917 Jones Creek Road #100b, Baton Rouge, LA 70817
- Catholic Charities Archdiocese of New Orleans (CCANO)
Toll-Free Phone: 866-566-1399
Address: 3019 North Arnoult Road, Metairie, LA 70002
- Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Baton Rouge
Mailing Address: 1900 S. Acadian Thruway, Baton Rouge, LA 70808
- Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Houma-Thibodaux
Mailing Address: 1220 Aycock Street, Houma, LA 70360
- Jewish Family Service of Greater New Orleans (JFS)
Address: 3330 West Esplanade Avenue South, Suite 600, Metairie, LA 70002
- LDS Social Services
Address: 480 Robert Blvd., Slidell, LA 70458
- St. Elizabeth Foundation (SEF)
Toll-Free Phone: 800-738-5683
Address: 8054 Summa Ave., Suite A, Baton Rouge, LA 70809
There are 4,000 children in foster care in Louisiana; 140 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.