Louisiana Laws on Same-Sex Marriage, Artificial Insemination, Surrogacy and Adoption
Louisiana law does not allow same-sex marriage.
Louisiana Civil Code
Article 89. Impediment of same sex
Persons of the same sex may not contract marriage with each other. A purported marriage between persons of the same sex contracted in another state shall be governed by the provisions of Title II of Book IV of the Civil Code.
A constitutional amendment passed in 2004 defines marriage as the union between one man and one woman. The language of the amendment may affect other same-sex relationships, such as civil unions and domestic partnerships.
§15. Defense of Marriage
Section 15. Marriage in the state of Louisiana shall consist only of the union of one man and one woman. No official or court of the state of Louisiana shall construe this constitution or any state law to require that marriage or the legal incidents thereof be conferred upon any member of a union other than the union of one man and one woman. A legal status identical or substantially similar to that of marriage for unmarried individuals shall not be valid or recognized. No official or court of the state of Louisiana shall recognize any marriage contracted in any other jurisdiction which is not the union of one man and one woman.
As of August 2004, three lawsuits are challenging Louisiana’s gay marriage ban. (Reference: Human Rights Campaign)
Louisiana law does not specifically discuss the paternity of a child born via artificial insemination. The law says that if a woman is married, her husband is assumed to be the father of any child born during the marriage or within 300 days from the date the marriage ends.
Louisiana Civil Code
Article 185 Presumption of paternity of husband
The husband of the mother is presumed to be the father of a child born during the marriage or within three hundred days from the date of the termination of the marriage.
The law says that any private health facility, agency or physician that provides human artificial insemination using anonymous donors cannot use fresh semen. Semen must be frozen, and it must be tested for HIV.
These rules do not apply if a woman is being inseminated with her husband’s sperm.
Louisiana Revised Statutes
Title 40 Public Health and Safety
§1062.1. Testing of donors of semen specimens; use of specimens; penalties
A. No public or private health facility, agency, or physician which provides human artificial insemination services on an anonymous basis shall use fresh semen specimens. The provisions of this Section shall not be construed or interpreted in any way to prohibit the use of a wife's spouse's semen for artificial insemination purposes.
B. A health facility, agency, or physician which provides human artificial insemination services on an anonymous basis using frozen semen shall test each semen donor for the presence in the donor of HIV-1 antibodies, which have been associated with acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS). The donated semen shall be stored and quarantined until the HIV-1 antibodies test and a second test six months from the date of donation are completed. A regular donor may be tested for the presence of HIV-1 antibodies on a regular basis, but shall be tested at least once every six months. A health facility, agency, or physician shall not accept or use for artificial insemination purposes:
(1) Any semen specimen, except that of a wife's spouse, from a donor who has not been subjected to an initial HIV-1 antibodies test which produced a negative result and subjected to a second test six months later which produced a negative result; or
(2) Any semen specimen from a donor whose first or subsequent HIV-1 antibodies test result is positive, unless a corroborative HIV-1 test provides evidence that the positive HIV-1 test result was a false positive reaction.
C. The results of the tests performed pursuant to this Section shall be released only to the subject of the test; the subject's treating physician; or the office of public health of the Department of Health and Hospitals for the limited purpose of statistical summary and analysis.
D. The Department of Health and Hospitals shall promulgate rules to implement the provisions of this Section.
E. A health facility, agency, or physician which violates any of the provisions of this Section shall be fined not more than two thousand dollars, and shall be liable for damages in a civil action.
A law passed in 1987 says that surrogacy contracts are void and unenforceable
Louisiana Revised Statutes
Title 9 Civil code - ancillaries
§2713. Contract for surrogate motherhood; nullity
A. A contract for surrogate motherhood as defined herein shall be absolutely null and shall be void and unenforceable as contrary to public policy.
B. "Contract for surrogate motherhood" means any agreement whereby a person not married to the contributor of the sperm agrees for valuable consideration to be inseminated, to carry any resulting fetus to birth, and then to relinquish to the contributor of the sperm the custody and all rights and obligations to the child.
The governor has vetoed bills that would legalize surrogacy contracts. (Reference: Baton Rouge Advocate)
The law says that any single person, eighteen years or older, or any married couple can adopt.
Louisiana Children’s Code
Chapter 9 - Agency Adoptions
Art. 1198. Persons who may petition for adoption
A single person, eighteen years or older, or a married couple jointly may petition to adopt a child through an agency. When one joint petitioner dies after the petition has been filed, the adoption proceedings may continue as though the survivor was a single original petitioner.
Louisiana law does not recognize joint or second parent adoption by unmarried couples. Therefore, it does not recognize same-sex joint or second parent adoption, as it does not recognize gay marriages.
In 2007, Oren Adar and Mickey Smith, who had adopted a Louisiana-born child in the State of New York, sued for the right to have both their names on their child’s Louisiana birth certificate. In 2011, the U.S. Supreme Court declared they did not have this right. (Reference: Lambda Legal)