Adopting, but with a Criminal Record? Consult an Expungement Attorney

You’ve always dreamed of having a child, yet somehow certain life circumstances denied you that chance. The only option that seems available to you now is adoption. California mandates background investigations of all prospective adoptive parents. Unfortunately, a criminal record can cause your application to be rejected. Fortunately, you might be able to clear up any negative record you have with the help of a criminal record expungement attorney from Sacramento firms, such as the Chastaine Law Office.

Under scrutiny

When applying for adoption, the social worker or coordinator will have to present the local and federal officials a home study — a compilation of detailed reports about your background, including your criminal history. Having a criminal record won’t automatically disqualify you; it still depends on the severity of your offense, how much time has lapsed since you committed it and how you have lived your life from then. According to MLJ Adoptions, you shouldn’t worry about disclosing your criminal history information as this will give you the opportunity to tell your side of the story and it will help the home study coordinator show the authorities that all issues are a thing of the past and that, as a responsible citizen for several years now, you’re now more equipped for parenting.

Expungement and adoption

Criminal records are public records. Through expungement, the court seals or may even destroy certain acts from your criminal file. Expungement is a way to let you start a new life as if you’ve never committed the offense. Qualifying for expungement in California means you have successfully completed all terms of your probation: paid all fines and compensation, underwent counseling, and performed community service, among other requirements. It also means that you’ve been diligent in attending all your court hearings and that you have not committed any crime while on probation.

Although it may not entirely hide your past conviction, your unblemished record since then will show that you’re a changed person, and that you’re willing to abide by what the law would require of you, thus, making you appear more reliable as a potential adoptive parent. Additionally, you get a higher chance for approval if you expunge an arrest record where no criminal charges were filed, or if those criminal charges were dropped for reasons of, say, mistaken identity or lack of probable cause.

Not everyone is qualified

If you were sent to a state prison, your conviction cannot be expunged. If you’ve been convicted for violence or sexual offenses against children, you most certainly won’t be allowed to adopt.

If you think you may be qualified for expungement in Sacramento, seek help from an expungement attorney. Don’t let your past get in the way of your chance to being a parent.