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Adoption/Felony conviction

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  • Adoption/Felony conviction

    My husband and I are wanting to adopt and hoping to start the first of the year with homestudies and so forth. However, he was convicted of a felony - satellite infringment (sold illegal satellite cards - 5 years ago) He was on probabtion/currently still paying the fine (& will be for several years and served 6 months on house arrest. Will this interfere with adopting? Does anyone have any knowledge of this? This has been 5 years ago and doesn't have anything to do with violence or children? Thanks
    Last edited by ttc1; 12-16-2005, 09:47 AM.

  • #2
    I have replied to nearly the same question several times on this board. Yours is a little different, however, because as I read it, your husband is still on probation for a felony offense. I am a foster/adoptive parent, and I know the desire of your heart; however, I hope as not to saddden your holiday. If your husband is still paying the fine, I don't think he has been released from the courts. I honestly don't believe that you have a chance of fostering or adopting with a recent felony theft/dishonesty crime even though it has nothing to do with violence, children, sex, drugs, etc. Most certified adoptive agencies, DFS/DSS included in my state and in the surrounding states require that you be off probation for at least 7 years before they will even begin to consider you. As a matter of fact, my state's DSS has a policy that you cannot get a foster/adoptive certification if you are still on probation.

    Agencies won't place a child with you for fostering because of the potential liability and credibility issues. Think about it this way. You have child in your care that you wish to adopt. The agency wishes to terminate parental rights on the birth parents. The birth parents will throw an absolute FIT about how the agency has their child living with a CONVICTED FELON, even though they can abuse, neglect, and smoke crack in front of them. Not to mention, if anything ever happened to the child while they were in your care, they are in the care of a convicted felon. For whatever reason, the juvenille courts equate felonies to an inherent disposition of parental neglect. While children are in DFS/DSS custody, they are SOLELY responsible for them, and even though the birth parent is a sorry *** crack-head LOSER, they simply cannot afford to have them placed with someone who has had a felony offense.

    I will say this though. If you are wanting to adopt, then you might have better luck adopting a child who is already freed for adoption. In that case, the birth parents are already out of the picture, and the agency has no civil liability if they place a child with you and something happens. And when I say something, I literally mean anything. For instance, one of my case workers told me how her former agency was sued by the birth parents for the child being in the vehicle with the foster parent, and the foster parent was in a car accident that was not their fault. The child was severely injured, but lived. The birth parent sued and won lots of money against the state. Why? Because they should not have been placed in that foster home to begin with because one of the foster parents had a felony conviction some years back. In my opinion, you will likely have better luck in your situation if you try to get a child that is already freed.

    The other option is if you can arrange for an adoption privately between you and another individual. Even still, that has to go before a judge, and the judge will likely order a home study.

    Your best bet is to be perfectly honest, and up-front ask them if this will keep you from adopting.

    I have attached to this post, a copy of my previous post.

    Good luck to you.



    I am a foster/adoptive parent. I am not aware of any law in any state that specifically prohibits a convicted felon from legally adopting a child.

    I will say this, however. If you are attempting to get a home-study through an agency or through your state's DSS/DFS (whatever child protection is called there), then in will be quite a formidable hurdle. A home study will be the first step with any type of agency either public or private. This will be your biggest hurdle to overcome.

    A felony isn't necessarily a show-stopper. Agencies consider the charge, the crime you were convicted of, the penalty you paid (fines, probation, prison term), nature of the crime (drugs, sex, violent), and how long ago the crime occurred. For example, let's say you are a 55 years old. When you were 20, you were convicted of grand theft auto. You got 2 years in prison, 2 years on paper (probation), and a certain amount of suspended sentence. You served your term, got out on good behavior, paid your probation, and got off paper. This crime was 35 years ago, and you are non-violent, and not a sex offender. I don't know of a single adoption agency, nor an employer, for that matter, that would hold that crime against you.

    I hope this info helps.
    Last edited by bears00; 12-16-2005, 09:32 AM.


    • #3
      Oh no, he isn't on probabtion now...he was. But isn't now. He will have the fine (which went civil after the probabtion) and he'll have that to pay for years and well years...

      So the whole thing is over except for the money he owes the satellite company. Like I said, after his probation ended - it went from being criminal to civil.

      Thanks for your reply.


      • #4
        In that case, you might could slide by with an agencey on that. You must definitely tell them, however, that he is paying on a civil judgement agaisnt him because they do require a full financial disclosure.


        • #5
          It should not, but if it is asked about, it should be disclosed. If you are concerned, talk to an adoption attorney about it to see how they think you should handle things.