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Can you adopt with a criminal record?

On Behalf of | Jun 30, 2020 | domestic adoption

Not every prospective parent has a perfect past. However, you may have a chance at adoption, even with a mark or two on your record. Generally speaking, approval is very unlikely for those with convictions of domestic violence, violent crimes or crimes against children.

Even so, do not let any general information discourage you from looking into starting a family. This article will make an overview of the topic, but please keep in mind that your case could be unique.

Background checks

As explained by the Children’s Bureau, the Social Security Act requires all states to perform background checks of you and your co-parents. North Carolina is in the minority that does not require a background check for your prospective kinship caregivers. The state also does not search other states’ in which you may have lived for general criminal records — but it does search child abuse and neglect registries.

Drug convictions

Felony drug convictions would probably disqualify you for 5 five years. In some states, it would be a lifetime disqualification.

Violent crimes

All states would disqualify you for a serious violent felony conviction, such as homicide. Additionally, North Carolina does not allow those convicted of domestic violence to adopt.

Crimes against children

A record of crimes against children, such as child pornography, child abuse or neglect, would lead to a failed adoption application. Additionally, you could face disqualification for any crime that demonstrates you would be a risk to a child.

As you can see, various jurisdictions have slightly different rules when it comes to adoption. Furthermore, the states and territories have discrepancies in their methods of gathering information.