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criminal record - it is ever possible to adopt with one?(6 Posts)
We have been TTC for a while and have started to discuss our options should we not be able to have our own children. Adoption came up as an option and we are both open to it but he has a criminal record. Does anyone know if that will put a stop to our chances from the get go?
It sounds really terrible as the record is for an assault, but there is a very long and painful story behind it which shows that it genuinely was a technicality that found him guilty(he didn't avtually hit anybody, it was simply that he put his hand on someone) - we have suffered hugely (jobs etc) as a result of it already and are really concerned that it will now put a stop to us being parents as well.
Any advice/ info would be much appreciated.
The only criminal convictions that are legal barriers to adoption are almost all offences against children and certain sexual offences against adults. Social services have discretion over any other kind of offence
In my personal experience I have known people adopt who have records for things ranging from theft, drug possession, assault to driving offences
Generally for any offence, it needs to be some years ago, so if it was recent then you will probably have issues, and you have to be able to demonstrate that your life is different now, but as long as you can talk about it and explain you story and what is different now, I've known most people to be fine. Some agencies might not be happy, but equally some would be happy to take you forward. They do not seek absolute perfection - they'd never get anyone at all. He needs to be comfortable talking about it, because they will probe
What Lilka said. A conviction for assault on an adult wouldn't be an automatic bar to adoption, though obviously they will want to explore the issue and be assured that it isn't likely to happen again, or that your dp has anger issues generally.
I assess people with criminal convictions to work with children, which is a different thing, but the principles are similar. If it happened a while back with no other issues I'd think it should be ok to that. Key to my assessment though is the attitude of the person, if they've reflected on what happened and recognise their accountability and have made any changes needed.
I'm always wary of folk who say it wasn't really an issue, or they weren't at fault because I don't know then if the issue will come up again. That's not to say your DP was entirely at fault but he should be able to talk about his response to the conviction, how he's dealt with it and how he's changed his behaviour. That can be hard if he genuinely believes he did nothing wrong but I'm guessing they'll want some sense of his self reflection.
In addition to the advice you've already had, can I also suggest that you don't talk about it being a "technicality". Assault doesn't necessarily mean you hit someone or caused them injury. I presume he was charged with common assault which covers the fear that force is going to be used - putting your hands on someone (particularly if part of a loud argument for example) certainly is assault and not a technicality!
I would strongly suggest that your DH thinks about how the situation arose and what he could have done to avoid things going that far and how even putting his hands on someone obviously did nothing to improve the situation and that he's learnt there are better ways to deal with things etc
Thank you for your advice everyone - it is a relief to hear it wouldn't stop us outright.
I maybe gave the wrong impression of how he feels about the situation here. He does entirely understand that he should never have put his hands on anyone and the reasons he was charged - he was working in the security industry at the time which he does not do anymore, mainly due to the potential risk to himself and because he never wants to be in that kind of situation again. The technicality came from evidence being misplaced which meant he was unable to corroborate his side of the story, not that the assault part was a technicality.
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