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

  • 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.

Costs to foster and adopt

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.

Post-adoption support services

See a comprehensive list of post-adoption and guardianship support services and support groups available to families who live in Louisiana.

Agency contact and orientation information

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:

Information on Louisiana's children

There are 4,168 children in foster care in Louisiana; 140 of these children are waiting for adoptive families.