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      CHC 1208     


Art. 1208.  Hearing; petition for agency adoption

A.  The court shall sign the order setting the time and place for the hearing of the petition for agency adoption not less than thirty nor more than sixty days after the filing of the adoption petition.  The court  may extend this time for up to sixty additional days for good cause, which may include a showing by the department that it has been impossible to gather the necessary data within the time prescribed.  The court may reduce the time to a minimum of fifteen days with written approval of the department and the petitioner.  If an extension of time is granted, the court shall set a new hearing date and shall require the petitioner to report to the court, either at that hearing, or before, in detail concerning the progress of the child's adoptive placement.

B.  At this hearing the court shall consider:

(1)  Any motion to intervene which has been filed.

(2)  Any other issues in dispute.

(3)  The confidential report of the department.

(4)  The report of any criminal records concerning the petitioner, including the nature of the offenses, the number of offenses, and the length of time between the offenses and between the last offense committed and the petition for agency adoption.  The existence of a criminal record of the petitioner shall not be automatic grounds for the court to refuse to grant an agency adoption.

(5)  The report of any validated complaints of child abuse or neglect concerning the petitioner.

(6)  The testimony of the parties.

C.  If the child to be adopted is twelve years of age or older, the court shall solicit and consider his wishes in the matter.

D.  If not previously determined by the court in a separate hearing, the court shall also determine whether any proposed continuing contact agreement involving a child in the custody of the department is in the best interest of the child in accordance with Article 1269.5.

Acts 1991, No. 235, §12, eff. Jan. 1, 1992; Acts 1993, No. 634, §1, eff. June 15, 1993; Acts 1999, No. 1062, §4, eff. Jan. 1, 2000; Acts 2001, No. 568, §1, eff. Jan. 1, 2002; Acts 2013, No. 187, §1.

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