LA Regular Session 2008
Proposed Changes Pass!
Effective 8/2008
Housebill No. 444

There are some minor changes, as well as the addition of 1127.1C, which states that upon request, the custodian is to contact the adopted person, adoptive parents and biological parents to facilitate an exchange of updated non-identifying medical and genetic information.

Read exact wording here... http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=503639
Read the easier "digest" version here ... http://www.legis.state.la.us/billdata/streamdocument.asp?did=504022

Thoughts from Dr. Linda Pendergast regarding this topic from May 2008 -

The current proposed changes to Louisiana adoption law as found in the Children's Code was authored by the Children's Code Committee of the Louisiana Law Institute, chaired by Lucy McGough, J.D.  Ms. McGough champions the cause for adult adoptees to have access to identifying information as a civil right.  She is on "our side."  However, she is not the only member of the Children's Code Committee; other members tend to be more conservative.  The current proposed legislation is intentionally constructed to lay a foundation for future legislative change that would allow adult adoptees access to identifying information: this initial step is necessary to broaden the perspective of the legislators without compromising the elements of reform that have historically plagued adoption practice.  For example, the updating of medical information; the provision to provide a birthmother a copy of the relinquishment papers; unencumbered access to non-identifying information at the age of majority; the authorization to confirm that an individual was indeed adopted and where that adoption took place (the court); as well as requiring that the adoption records of private practitioners of adoption (attorneys and physicians) be turned over to the state (OCS) when the practitioner retires, ceases to practice, or dies.  These are all huge issues that have been needed for a long time.  The bill has cleared the house committee, will go to the house floor and then to a Senate Committee Hearing.

While it is not what we want in the long-run, it is a step in the right direction.  I have all the confidence in the world that Ms. McGough will lead a larger effort in the 2010 legislative session.  The Louisiana Adoption Advisory Board (LAAB) is working collaboratively with Ms. McGough to ultimately realize access by adult adoptees to their identifying information.  Even the OCS director of adoption (who sits on the LAAB board) supports access to original birth certificates.  LAAB is currently conducting a survey of all legislators to determine their connection and sensitivity to adoption related issues.  LAAB intends to make this a top priority project as we move toward 2010.  As a member of Louisiana Adoption Advisory Board (LAAB), I represent all members of ABC

It will be a huge undertaking and everyone's help will be needed.  We want to strengthen our database of triad members so that we can better communicate over the next couple of years. In the meantime, Ms. McGough is also exploring options at the federal level as a violation of constitutional civil right.  

Linda Pendergast
ABC and LAAB


Adoptees' Birthrights Committee
(ABC)
Adoptees' Birthrights Committee (ABC) is a private, volunteer driven, charitable organization providing non-profit search and support assistance.
http://www.adopteesbirthrightscommittee.com/

Louisiana Adoption Advisory Board (LAAB), Inc.
P.O. Box 2332
Baton Rouge, LA 70821
(225) 342-4086