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How Criminal Charges Can Affect Your Right to Adopt a Child

Posted on in Family Law

How Criminal Charges Can Affect Your Right to Adopt a ChildAdopting a child is not something to take lightly. Whether you are a grandparent, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister, aunt, uncle, or unrelated to the child you wish to adopt, once the adoption process is complete, you are responsible for making sound-of-mind decisions based on the best interest of the child.

However, if you have a criminal record, adopting a child may be more difficult, or in some circumstances, off the table.

What To Expect

According to the Illinois Adoption Act, the following is done during the adoption process:

  • A fingerprint-based FBI and state criminal background check. This background check is mandatory for the prospective adoptive parent(s), as well as anyone living in the household. The results of the criminal background check are then given to the court for its review. The court may weigh the significance of the results before continuing or suspending the adoption process.
  • A check of the child abuse and neglect tracking system and other state child protection systems, or the national registry
  • A check of the Illinois sex offender registry and the national sex offender registry

Issues that do not affect whether you can adopt include age, race, whether you smoke or not, your sexual orientation, and/or whether you already have children.

Grounds for Disqualification

If any of the following offenses have been committed by the prospective adoptive parent(s) or members of the household, the adoption process may be terminated: 

  • Felony child abuse or neglect
  • Spousal abuse
  • A crime against children such as child pornography, child abandonment, or child endangerment 
  • A crime involving violence such as murder or manslaughter, kidnapping, sexual assault/abuse, or battery with or without a weapon
  • A drug-related felony 
  • Stalking
  • Violation of an order of protection

In some circumstances, regardless of the offenses on your criminal record, the court may issue a foster family home license if the offenses were committed 10 years ago or more, the adoptive parent(s) and members of the household meet all other requirements, and the family has previously provided and currently provides a safe and stable home environment.

Contact a Joliet, Illinois, Adoption Attorney Today

Looking to adopt? We can help. The attorneys at The Foray Firm work hard on behalf of clients throughout Will County, DuPage County, Cook County, and the surrounding Illinois areas. We have assisted hundreds of individuals in welcoming a new child into their family. Contact a DuPage County adoption attorney at 312-702-1293.

Sources: 

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs3.asp?ActID=2098&ChapterID=59

https://www.childwelfare.gov/pubPDFs/background.pdf

BBA Of Will County Illinois State Bar Association Cook County Bar Association The National Bar Association BWLA
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