Louisiana birth certificates. (WES MULLER/LOUISIANA ILLUMINATOR)
Adopted people born in Louisiana will soon be able to obtain copies of their original birth certificates when they reach age 24 thanks to new legislation Gov. John Bel Edwards has signed into law.
House Bill 450, sponsored by Rep. Charles Owen, R-Rosepine, received overwhelming bipartisan support in both chambers of the Legislature, though Owen had to navigate around significant political roadblocks along the way as several lawmakers called it the most difficult piece of legislation they have ever considered.
Someone adopted as a child will no longer have to petition a court to unseal their original birth certificate. Instead, they can obtain an uncertified copy upon request from the state vital records registry once they reach age 24.
The proposal overcame opposition from anti-abortion groups and others with financial interests in the adoption industry, both arguing it might discourage women from giving babies up for adoption.
Owen, an anti-abortion conservative, said his legislation was purely about correcting an injustice. Until enactment of the new law, effective Aug. 1, adopted people were the only Louisiana residents denied the right to access their true birth certificates since a 1977 law sealed records in closed adoptions.
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