Frequently Asked Questions


1. Can I choose who will adopt my child?

Yes! We will discuss with you your heart's desire about the couple/person to whom you would be willing to entrust your child. Next, we will find several adoptive parents who meet your qualifications, and ultimately recommend a family for you to consider. The adoptive parent(s) will provide you with a Mini-Scrapbook, which will contain photos as well as tell you about that family. Once you choose your family we determine whether you want to meet, and if so, we set up telephone conferences and ultimately in-person visits. Whether you want to meet your adoptive family is up to you!

2. What happens if I decide I want my child back?

Choosing adoption means choosing a permanent new home for your child. Adoption is not like foster care or temporary custody. Although as a birth parent you may always be an important part of your child's life, the decision of adoption is a transfer of all parental rights and responsibilities from the birthparents to the adoptive couple.

3. Can I stay in contact with my child?

The amount of post adoption contact varies in every adoption, and is discussed between the birthparents, the adoptive couple and the attorney to agency. Most of the time post adoption photos and letters are exchanged 2-3 times per year. Your wishes as a birthparent are extremely important, and an adoptive couple will be found who is agreeable to your post adoption contact requests.

4. Does the birthfather need to know?

Every state has different laws regarding the necessity of contacting and obtaining a consent to adoption from a birthfather. The law of your state and of the state of the adoptive couple will be reviewed to determine whether this will be necessary. In Louisiana, the birthfather must be contacted to provide his consent unless his identity is unknown. You will not have to contact the birthfather, our office will take care of this for you.

5. If I’m under 18 years old, do my parents have to know?

Every state has laws regarding the necessity of parental consent in adoption. Again, we will review the law of your state and the home state of the adoptive couple to determine whether or not your parents need to be involved in the adoption process. In Louisiana, a birthparent under 18 years old must have parental consent when signing a consent, unless that consent is given to a Louisiana adoption agency. We will take every legal step possible to protect your privacy!

6. Can I receive financial assistance during my pregnancy?

Again, state law varies, but in Louisiana, living and medical expenses can be paid during pregnancy and for up to 6 weeks post delivery. However, expenses must be carefully documented and verified. Selling a baby is illegal in Louisiana.

Prospective Adoptive Parents:

1. How long will it take to find us a child?

This is always the #1 question for adoptive families! We know that all adoptive parents are so anxious to grow their family. Our office will work with you to help locate a child. The time frame is often determined by the sex or race of the child.

2. What fees are we, the adoptive parents, responsible for paying?

Fees in adoption vary, depending on the needs of the birthmother and the legal requirements of the state where the adoption will be finalized. We will provide you with a retainer agreement when a birthmother is matched with you, and the retainer agreement will set forth a detailed estimate of all fees and expenses anticipated. In Louisiana, there may be living expenses, medical expenses, attorney fees, counseling fees, administrative fees and court costs.


To be placed on Mrs. Terri's adoptive parent registry, you will need to complete the application on this website and include the $1,500.00 application fee for the one hour informational meeting and other assistance that fee includes. See more:  I Want to Adopt


In other cases, if you contact The Law Offices of Terri Odom for a consultation for either a private adoption where you already have met your birth mother, or if you contact Mrs. Odom or Ms. Debnam for consultation on an Intra-family adoption or adult adoption, you will pay a $250.00 consultation fee prior to the meeting, which amount will be credited to you upon your retaining The Law Offices of Terri Odom at that meeting.

3. When will the adoption become final?

Every state has its own law regarding the time which an adoption can be finalized. In Louisiana, a private adoption is finalized after one year, unless the birth mother surrenders to an agency. Louisiana agencies can finalize an adoption in six months. Our office can help you in either case. 

Material presented on the Center for Adoption website is intended for information purposes only. It is not intended as professional advice and should not be construed as such.


** Terri is an attorney that can work on private adoptions, but she also has over 20 years experience working with a Louisiana adoption agency. Our office can help you place your child through Mrs. Odom as a private attorney, or she can assist you in an agency placement as well.



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Law Offices of Terri Hoover Odom


Center for Adoption


West Monroe Office
PO Box 1576
West Monroe, LA 71294-1576

Phone: 1-318-387-8811



500 North 7th Street

West Monroe, LA  71291


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1055 Laurel Street
Baton Rouge, LA 70802

Phone: 1-225-448-5883


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