Woodley & Dudley

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Can a felony conviction prevent you from adopting in Texas?

If you hope to adopt a child in Texas, you must meet several eligibility requirements. One such requirement is the passage of a criminal background check. According to ChildWellfare.gov, a prospective adoptive or foster parent and all others who plan to reside in the home with an adoptive or foster child must submit to and clear a background check.

The site details what the background check may entail. At the most basic level, the check will include a name-based criminal history check of you and other applicants. The purpose of this is to uncover any criminal convictions you may have in Texas. The check will also involve a fingerprint-based criminal history check, a central registry check and an out-of-state central registry check. The purpose of the latter is to see if you or other applicants have any convictions outside of the state.

ChildWellfare.gov also details what findings may constitute as disqualification for adoption. There are several. Per the source, any person involved in the criminal or online solicitation of a minor; aggravated kidnapping; sexual assault, indecency with a child; trafficking of a child or person; murder, homicide or manslaughter; solicitation of prostitution; sexual performance by a child; abandoning or endangering a child; continuous sexual abuse of a child; continuous violence against a family member; or child pornography can never adopt a child in the state of Texas.

The state requires a 20-year probation period for certain convictions related to enticing a child; aggravated assault; prohibited sexual contact; terroristic threat; advertising for placement of child; interference with child custody; prostitution; and others. It extends a five-year probationary period for any applicant convicted of forgery, theft, burglary or other financial crimes; driving while under the influence; or drug-related offenses.

The state completely bars all individuals whom it requires to register as a sex offender from adoption.

The information in this post is for educational purposes only. It should not be used as legal advice. 

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