IN RE: ANTHONY ALLEN WARNER, ET UX APPLYING FOR INTRAFAMILY ADOPTION
FROM THE TWENTY-SEVENTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT PARISH OF ST.
LANDRY, NO. 17-C-5643-B HONORABLE A. GERARD CASWELL, DISTRICT
James John Concorida Parish Correctional PRO-SE
DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: In Proper Person
E. Brown Attorney at Law COUNSEL FOR PETITIONERS/APPELLEES:
Anthony Allen Warner Samantha Maria Smiley Warner
composed of Marc T. Amy, John E. Conery, and Van H. Kyzar,
E. CONERY JUDGE.
appeal, an incarcerated biological father questions the
validity of the trial court's judgment granting the
intrafamily adoption of his daughter by her step-father.
Finding that the record lacked criminal records check returns
required by La.Ch.Code art. 1243.2 and La.Ch.Code art. 1253,
we vacate the trial court's judgment and remand the
matter to that court for further proceedings in accordance
with this opinion.
AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Warner, husband of Samantha Warner, petitioned the court for
intrafamily adoption of his step-daughter R.C.J. on December
28, 2017. R.C.J. is the biological child of Ms. Warner and
pro se Appellant, Mayson John. Mr. John was personally served
on January 12, 2018 with the petition and a citation to
appear in open court on February 12, 2018. He did not file an
answer, opposition, or any other responsive pleading.
in-chambers adoption hearing occurred on February 12, 2018.
Judgment terminating Mr. John's parental rights to R.C.J.
and granting the adoption of R.C.J. by Mr. Warner was signed
that day. Mr. John timely appealed the trial court's
February 12, 2018 judgment and is now before us asserting
four assignments of error. We will not be addressing the
merits of these errors in this opinion because the record
does not contain a return on the criminal records check on
the adoptive parent, Anthony Allen Warner, as mandated by
La.Ch.Code art. 1243.2 and La.Ch.Code art. 1253.
statutes are in derogation of the natural right of the parent
and must be strictly construed." In re B.J.C.,
49, 852, p. 7 (La.App. 2 Cir. 4/15/15), 163 So.3d 905, 910,
citing, Myers v. Myrick, 34, 970 (La.App. 2 Cir.
5/17/01), 787 So.2d 546. Intrafamily adoptions are governed
by title XII of the Louisiana Children's Code, which
provides specific procedures for the adoption of a child by
certain relatives. Applicable to this case are the provisions
and procedures for the adoption of a child by his or her
step-parent when the step-parent is presently married to one
of the child's biological parents. In an intrafamily
adoption, both parents-unless their parental rights have been
judicially terminated-must consent to the adoption or
(voluntarily) relinquish their parental rights. La.Ch.Code
art. 1193 and La.Ch.Code art. 1244.
Children's Code Article 1243.2(A)(1) requires the trial
court to order the following:
"[T]he local sheriff or the office of state police,
Louisiana Bureau of Criminal Identification and Information,
[to] conduct a record check for all federal arrests and
convictions and all state arrests and convictions for each of
the prospective adoptive parents. Prospective adoptive
parents shall submit a set of fingerprints to the sheriff or
the office of state police."
Subsection C of La.Ch.Code art. 1243.2 requires "[t]he
sheriff or the office of state police, Louisiana Bureau of
Criminal Identification and Information, and the department
[to] accord priority to these orders and [to] provide a
certificate indicating all ...