Adoption is a fantastic process that sees millions of homeless children get loving families. Families are brought together, and children get to be welcome into stable and caring homes.
The general rule is that the best interests of the child are considered. DUI charges may affect your eligibility to adopt, especially where such DUI convictions are felonies and involve child endangerment. For instance, if you have been convicted of a DUI and child endangerment under the Vehicle Code, you are likely to be denied adoption.
Process of Adoption
The first step before any adoption application proceeds to the next step is a home study. Adoption agencies are mandated to carry out home studies to establish your personal and family history and establish your home’s state.
The purpose of home studies is simply to give the courts enough information about you. This information is important in determining whether your home is a healthy and stable environment fit for a child.
Adoption agencies will run a criminal background check on you alongside the home study.
Will a DUI Appear on My Background Check?
A DUI may not necessarily bar you from getting an approved home study conducted. It will, however, delay the adoption process. This not only applies to a DUI conviction on your part but also to another member of your household.
Your DUI will appear on your record unless you have had it expunged.
Impact of a DUI Conviction on Adoption
So far, we understand the impact of DUIs on our careers, college applications, and even insurance, but there are no written laws on the eligibility of a person concerning adoption. However, the conduct of the couple seeking to adopt and the child’s best interests are what guide one’s eligibility. A felony DUI conviction can greatly affect your eligibility to adopt in the sense that adoption agencies will scrutinize such a conviction with a keen consideration of your ability to care for and tend to a child.
In most cases, felony DUIs result in being barred from adoption because it portrays your carelessness, and where injury and death occurred, completely discredits you as a potential parent. The most serious DUI conviction is a DUI and child endangerment, which automatically disqualifies you as a potential adoptive parent.
How to go about your DUI Conviction to Enable you to Adopt.
To have the DUI conviction not adversely affect the adoption, some things can work in your favor. They are:
- The DUI involved a non-moving violation.
- This applies where you were arrested while you were in your car when parked.
- The DUI conviction happened a while back.
- The DUI was a one-time incident, and you are not an alcoholic.
- You joined AA and completed DUI traffic school.
- The DUI was a misdemeanor, and there were no aggravating factors present.
Such aggravating factors include:
- Habitual offending
- Causing Injury or death
- Getting a DUI with a child in the vehicle
- A high BAC
- Where the accident caused was not your fault, you stand a chance of adopting.
The adoption agency may request more information about the circumstances surrounding the DUI incident and the steps which you have taken to ensure that it never happens again. Upon the request of more information and relevant documents concerning the DUI, an adoption agency will suspend the home study until all these are provided. To increase your chances of adopting, you must cooperate with the adoption agency.
Moreover, it is significant to bear in mind that the child’s best interests are paramount to whether or not you will be allowed to adopt. This is why while there are no laws cast in stone on the adoption of children, the adoption agencies examine couples’ eligibility before allowing them to adopt. A DUI conviction record, primarily where injury or death occurred, demonstrates a lack of care and responsibility, translating to disqualification from adoption. Therefore, to keep your chances of adopting high, restrain yourself and those in your household from habitual DUI offending and serious felony DUIs. Suppose you have any reason to believe your DUI charges could affect your chances of adopting a child. In that case, we recommend reaching out to Criminal Heroes P.C. at +323-529-3660 to determine the extent of the issue and how it could affect your ability to adopt.