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Will My DUI Affect My Ability to Adopt?

There’s no question, adoption can be a beautiful thing. Adoption brings families together and provides children from questionable backgrounds the opportunity to be welcomed into a stable, loving home.

What if you are planning to adopt, but you were recently arrested for DUI and you’re facing a possible conviction? Could a DUI conviction preclude you from adopting?

Adoption Home Study

Adoption agencies conduct home studies; a home study is a basic overview of your personal history, your family’s history, and your home. The purpose of a home study is to give the agency and the courts enough information about you, so they can determine whether you would be bringing a child into a healthy and stable home environment.

A home study will carefully evaluate where you live, who you live with, your financial stability, and your neighborhood. As a part of your home study, the agency will run a criminal background check on you.

What if a DUI shows up on a background check?

The adoption home study can be nerve-wracking for families, especially as it pertains to the criminal background check. If you have ever been arrested for DUI, the record of your arrest is likely to be discovered at this point in time.

While a DUI won’t necessarily preclude you from getting an approved home study, it will delay the process until a full assessment of the situation is made by the adoption agency. If the agency receives a “hit” on you or another member of your household, that person will be notified.

The agency may ask you to provide:

  • The dissemination report
  • Proof of alcohol-related counseling
  • Counseling reports and evaluations
  • A full disclosure of the incident
  • Court documents
  • Probation/discharge reports
  • Sponsor letters
  • Judicial Orders of Compliance

The adoption agency may also ask you for a record of the circumstances surrounding the DUI incident, and the steps that you took to ensure that it never happens again. Usually, a home study will be suspended until all requisite documents are received.

If an applicant fails to cooperate, the home study could be terminated and the agency may elect not to grant any refunds. Generally, adoption agencies have their own discretion and policies regarding criminal offenses that prohibit a couple from adopting.

If you are concerned that your DUI arrest could prevent you from adopting, contact an Orange County DUI attorney from the Law Offices of Virginia L. Landry, Inc. for legal advice!