Can You Adopt With A Criminal Record?

A reformed person will always look to redeem themselves, and what better way than adopting a child? But can you adopt with a criminal record, or do the authorities shut you off completely if you have a criminal past? Let’s find out.

If you wish to adopt a child with a criminal record, the whole process can be a bit complex, whether you will be able to get someone for adoption or not. This heavily depends on your previous convictions and criminal record. 

It’s legally required in America to check the background of prospective foster and adoptive parents and kinship caregivers. A person would not be able to get approval for adoption if their past convictions were based on child abuse or neglect of a child. 

Violence-related offenses will also make your case worse and will reduce your chances of getting the adoption. It is good to consult a lawyer before you file for adoption, as they can thoroughly guide you through the whole process. This article will discover more details about adoption with a criminal record. 

Can You Adopt With A Criminal Record

Can I Adopt A Child Even If I Have A Criminal Record?

Yes, you can adopt a child even with a criminal record. But whether you can adopt a child depends on the type of convictions and criminal record that you have. 

If the applicant has any past or ongoing cases related to violence, abuse, or neglect of a child, then getting adoption is not easy. The judges and the authority will ban you from adoption if they deem you unfit to adopt a child. The judge will always act in favor of the kid. So if they feel that the child is unsafe with you, they will not grant you the adoption. 

States follow different rules and regulations for adopting a child with a criminal record. You can go with your adoption case through any adoption agency, juvenile court, family court, etc. 

Any person having a felony conviction against a child will not be eligible for adoption. Some beliefs will directly ban you from adopting a child. Some violent crimes include violence, sexual assault, rape, homicide, spousal abuse, etc. 

Suppose a person has a felony conviction for drug abuse, alcohol abuse, physical assault, or battery within the last five years. In California, the adoptive family must wait five years from their date of conviction to be able to adopt a child. 

Some cases or convictions also have a high probability of getting an adoption ban. 

You might also like to read: How Much Does It Cost To Adopt A Child In Texas?

Can Felons Adopt A Child In California?

In California, felons have different adoption criteria for a child. Whether the state of California will approve your application after reviewing your felony and past crimes. If your past convictions include crimes against a child, such as abuse, violence, and neglect, the adoption case is most likely to be rejected. 

If the felony of the applicant is not related to children or abuse, then they might have a chance to get the adoption. It is also a great strategy to involve yourself in a lot of social work. Social work will talk about the nature and attitude of the felon.

The judge will also consider some details about the conviction, such as what was the case, the time, the duration, and whether you have learned from your mistake or not. If they feel you have changed and learned from your mistakes, then you may be able to get adoption. 

Can You Adopt With A Criminal Record

Can a person with Criminal History Adopt a Child in Florida?

Yes, felons are eligible to adopt a child in Florida. The authorities, social worker and placement agency of Florida will perform a thorough screening process on you before they grant your application based on the approved adoption requirement as per Florida law. 

There is no fixed answer to whether felons can adopt a child. Because whether a person is eligible or not also depends on their criminal offense. There is an entire process of adoption home checking, and criminal background check is a small part of that process. The background check is done to ensure the safety of the child. 

The officers also check the home’s quality and the applicant’s standard of living before granting them the adoption grant. The state of Florida says that a child cannot live with a felon that has cases against him involving violent crime, physical assault, sexual assault, sexual abuse, drug abuse and so on. 

You might also like to read: Legal Guardianship Vs. Adoption

Can A Felon Adopt A Child In Texas?

In Texas, the judge does take into account the prior offenses committed by the applicant. They treat every case differently, and there are no set rules for granting an application adoption grant. In most cases, a person that has committed a non-violent act will not be allowed to adopt a child. 

You can consult with your lawyers, and they can help you form an application for a special adoption grant. Your attorney will help by suggesting ways to avoid your past convictions standing in your way of getting an adoption grant. 

The Texas State government also performs a drug test on the applicants to ensure they are not drug or alcohol addicts. In Texas, you can adopt a child if you have a minor offense against you, but if you have some primary crime against children, like sexual assault or child pornography, you cannot adopt a child. 

Can You Adopt With A Criminal Record

Can I Be A Foster Parent Even With A Criminal Record In Virginia?

Yes, you can be a foster parent to a child, even with a criminal record. The state of Virginia doesn’t allow convicts to be foster parents or adopt kids if they have some serious charges and allegations against them. However, where the costs are for minor offenses such as misdemeanor, assault, and battery, they can act as parents to foster children. 

Virginia also allows burglars to act as foster parents only if there is a difference of 25 years from their conviction to the date of their adoption application. Virginia accepts no petition or application for major offenses involving abuse, violence, and gore. 

You might also like to read: How To Adopt A Family Member In Haiti?

Adopting With Criminal Convictions – The Good and Bad of It

There are some pros and some cons to everything. Similarly, adopting a child while having committed a criminal offense is the same. There are some pros of this situation such as you are helping a child to get their life back together. The child receives a safe environment and plenty of opportunities. On the other hand, a convict receives a chance to redeem themselves.  

There are many cases where the birth parents are letting go of their child to get better opportunities. Another pro is that adopting a child while having committed a criminal offense helps convict improve their social score. 

There are also some cons attached to adopting a child, such as it is a task that carries a lot of responsibilities. Adopting a child is also a full-time job. You cannot take any leaves from it. You will also have more financial liabilities as the child grows older. 

Can You Adopt With A Criminal Record

What Can Disqualify A Person From Adopting A Child? 

Some factors can affect your adoption application. The authorities and judges will always look forward to the child’s best interest. If they feel for some reason that you are either too young or too old to adopt a child, then your application will not pass. 

If a person suffers from severe physical conditions, there is also a chance of getting disqualified from the adoption process. The general rules for adoption qualification can vary from state to state and through different agencies. 

Any slight fact showing the applicant is incapable of looking after the child and providing them with long-term security, you won’t be able to get disability benefits.

You might also like to read: Can Americans Adopt From Russia?

Other Common Misconceptions About Requirements for Adoption

There are several misconceptions surrounding qualifications for adoption. Someone must address these misconceptions as people start believing them like they are true. 

Single v/s Married Adoptive Parents

One of the most regular misconceptions about adoption is that single people cannot adopt a child. This is entirely false, and single people can adopt a child irrespective of gender. 

Can You Adopt With A Criminal Record

Age limit for adoption

There is no right age for adoption. It is an entirely subjective decision a person can take when they feel they are ready. The adoption applicant should be 21 years old or more, but there is no upper age limit for adoption. Younger adoptive parents do tend to adopt a younger child. 

Can LGBTQ adopt?

Then there are also some rumors that gay couples cannot adopt children. This is false, and an adult can adopt a child regardless of their sexual preferences.

Can you adopt a child while working full time?

Full-time working people face some difficulties while adopting, but they can even adopt a child if they make the necessary arrangements for the child while they are at work. Hiring a full-time caretaker for the child is among the most feasible options. 

Can you adopt if you have your own children?

Some people also believe that married couples with biological children of their own can not adopt other children. This is not true. Parents with children prefer more because they know how to look after a child. The adoption agencies partner with government organizations to find the most suitable household for a child. 

There is also a trial period during the initial phase of the adoption procedure. This period is to check the compatibility of the new parents with the adopted child. If, during six months, the authorities feel they are not compatible, they would not finalize the adoption. 

Can You Adopt With A Criminal Record

Frequently Asked Questions

What will disqualify an individual from adopting a child? 

There can be a lot of factors that can disqualify you from adopting a child. If the adoption association feels that you are too young or too old for adoption, you will not be able to adopt a child. 
If the adoption applicant also has some health problems and is deemed unfit, they’ll also be unable to adopt. A person having a past criminal record will also not be able to adopt a child according to different state laws. 
If the authorities think you lack the financial, emotional, and physical stability to look after a child, you will also be disqualified from adopting a child. 

Can you adopt in Canada with a criminal record? 

Yes, having a criminal record will harm your adoption application. However, you can also apply for a pardon in Canada. The Canadian pardon means the applicant will file for a suspension from the ban. 
The Canadian government will ask for the criminal record along with the individual’s fingerprints before they are approved to adopt a child. 
The Canadian pardon will be given to the people who are good citizens. People or convicts involved in social service are the frontrunners to get the pardon. You can get your application denied if you don’t have an excellent social score. 

Can you adopt in Australia with a criminal record?

In Australia, having a criminal record does not entirely prevent you from adopting a child. However, the authorities will pay more detail and attention to your application. There will also be thorough research of your past convictions. 
For minor offenses and convictions, you can get a pardon. But if you have committed severe cases such as violence, abuse, and sexual violence, you will not be able to adopt a child. 
The authorities will not grant you an adoption approval if they deem you unfit. Special considerations are made for people with excellent social scores after release. 

Can I adopt if my husband has a felony? 

Yes, you can adopt a child even if your husband has a felony against them. These cases should not be severe such as death, sexual abuse, violence, or neglect against children. It is just your husband’s felony case. 
If the biological parents of the child you will adopt are alive and well, then you will need to get their approval as well. 

Wrap Up

Adopting a child is a great act of service. You can give a child a better standard of living at the same time you also get a family member. You can share love and affection with the child. You can adopt a child if you have a minor criminal background. You will not be allowed to adopt a child if you have some serious criminal offenses in your past. 

If your past convictions are related to crime against children, you will most likely not be able to get an adoption. All severe crimes against another person will not help your case of adopting a child. A felon can also improve their image in society by adopting a child.