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  #1  
Old 04-01-2012, 07:08 PM
DollyAnna1218 DollyAnna1218 is offline
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Adoption with criminal history

Hello,
This may be an odd question, but I have been wanting to adopt for several years. I am single and I live with a very good friend of mine, however, he has a criminal history. He has a few misdemeanors and 1 felony. The felony is for giving a cop false information and the misdemeanors are for little things (none are child related/abuse and I do not believe any are violent, I will double check). I do not have a criminal record. My question is would I still be able to adopt if he is living with me? I am open to any country as well. Thank you all for any advice you can lend!
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  #2  
Old 04-02-2012, 07:09 AM
sak9645 sak9645 is offline
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Criminal history

Frankly, your homestudy will have to reflect the criminal histories of all people living in your home. It will not look good in terms of your state, the USCIS, and the foreign country of your choice, if one of the people living in your home, presumably a "significant other", has committed a series of crimes, great or small. Your judgment in terms of associating with people who would not be good role models for your child would be questioned.

If your partner had just one arrest, a long time ago, and not involving child abuse, domestic violence, etc., you would probably be able to adopt. However, a series of criminal offenses (whether misdemeanors or felonies), with some of them being within the last ten years, could well disqualify you. Getting a homestudy agency and the USCIS to approve you, even before your dossier goes to a foreign country, is going to be an issue.

Sharon
__________________
Sharon, age 68
"65 is the new 45!"
Mom to Rebecca
born 10/18/95
adopted 5/5/97
Xiamen (Fujian prov.), China

Last edited by sak9645 : 04-02-2012 at 07:13 AM.
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  #3  
Old 04-02-2012, 01:53 PM
DollyAnna1218 DollyAnna1218 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sak9645
Frankly, your homestudy will have to reflect the criminal histories of all people living in your home. It will not look good in terms of your state, the USCIS, and the foreign country of your choice, if one of the people living in your home, presumably a "significant other", has committed a series of crimes, great or small. Your judgment in terms of associating with people who would not be good role models for your child would be questioned.

If your partner had just one arrest, a long time ago, and not involving child abuse, domestic violence, etc., you would probably be able to adopt. However, a series of criminal offenses (whether misdemeanors or felonies), with some of them being within the last ten years, could well disqualify you. Getting a homestudy agency and the USCIS to approve you, even before your dossier goes to a foreign country, is going to be an issue.

Sharon

Ok thank you. Next year will make 10yrs without any criminal happenings. His criminal history was all while he was younger in his teens. Will that make any difference?
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  #4  
Old 04-02-2012, 07:00 PM
sak9645 sak9645 is offline
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A lot will be up to the homestudy agency you choose.

Generally, if a criminal act occurred more than 10 years ago, and when the perpetrator was a minor, it may be viewed more tolerantly, especially if it was for something relatively minor, like participating in a peaceful but unauthorized protest march, playing loud music at night, spraying whipped cream on cars on Halloween, etc. However, a lot will depend on how the social worker views the presence of SEVERAL arrests, what types of arrests they were, and how your friend talks about them now.

It is possible that the social worker will note the fact that your friend didn't commit any violations of law as an adult and say, "Well, he was quite a hellion as a kid, but he has really matured." However, the social worker could also want to see a little more time pass before approving your friend, since he is still quite young, if he was still a minor ten years ago, and it may be hard for the social worker to believe that he can go from committing several law infractions to being a model citizen so quickly.

When interviewed, your friend will almost certainly need to disclose arrests as a minor, even if he was told that the record was expunged or would be sealed once he turned 18 or 21, or once he completed a year of crime-free living. Likewise, both misdemeanors and felonies will need to be disclosed. If arrests are NOT disclosed to the social worker, and subsequently show up on the FBI fingerprint check, that could be grounds for a denial by the USCIS, unless he and the social worker have a good explanation for the non-disclosure.

The social worker will probably want to see the police and court records, and will want a detailed written statement from him about each offense. In it, he should not attempt to evade responsibility by saying, "I didn't inhale" or "All the guys were doing it," or "It really wasn't a big deal." He should admit fault, talk about what he learned from the experience of being arrested and having a punishment such as a fine, community service, an alcohol awareness class, or whatever, and indicate what he has done to be sure that he won't commit further offenses.

Do be aware that, if any of the offenses involved violence, domestic abuse, child abuse or neglect, or sexual misconduct, the story could be quite different. No social worker will be comfortable placing a child in a household where a resident might abuse, neglect, or molest him/her.

Also, be aware that the USCIS and some foreign countries take drug and alcohol issues very seriously. Russia, for example, is EXTREMELY concerned about any mention of alcohol abuse, even DUIs. Alcoholism is a serious social problem in Russia, and the authorities know that many of the adoptable children have been removed from homes where their parents neglected or abused them because of it. As a result, they don't want to see a child put into a situation where he/she could be abused or neglected by an adoptive parent with a drinking problem. An episode of underage drinking, with no other indication of an alcohol issue in ten years, is unlikely to be a deterrent for the USCIS and some countries, but check with agencies about Russia, as some agencies don't want to have even a whisper about alcohol in the dossiers they submit to that country.

Be aware that there are a few countries and some agencies that are not favorable to cohabiting singles, though that should not be a big problem if all else is OK and you are flexible about countries. Stability of relationship is always required, which means that you should be together a few years before applying.

On the homestudy, you will probably be asked a lot of questions about your financial arrangements and other matters. If your partner is contributing to the support of the household, then you will be asked about your ability to provide for a child if you break up. You may be asked if your friend plans on doing a second parent adoption (if legal in your state), once you adopt, so that he is the legal father of your child and, if so, why you don't just get married. Your partner may be asked if he is as committed to the adoption as you are. The questions may be intrusive, but understand that the goal is to ensure that a child will come into a stable and loving home, where you have carefully thought about the nature of your relationship.

Sharon
__________________
Sharon, age 68
"65 is the new 45!"
Mom to Rebecca
born 10/18/95
adopted 5/5/97
Xiamen (Fujian prov.), China

Last edited by sak9645 : 04-02-2012 at 07:06 PM.
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  #5  
Old 04-09-2012, 12:48 PM
DollyAnna1218 DollyAnna1218 is offline
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Thank you very much for all of this information. I should clarify though, he is only a friend (gay actually) so we are not a couple haha. I think I will just move out of the house and into an apartment. I do have one more odd question I would like to ask. I have a large RV and I would love to be able to live in this. I know you are able to adopt domestically if you live in an RV, travel, and homeschool, but are you able to adopt internationally under these circumstances? Thank you again for all your wisdom!
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