adoption laws

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adoption laws

Can a felon adopt in the stae of iowa

Asked on June 18, 2009 under Family Law, Iowa

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

I could find no specific prohibition against felons adopting in Iowa.  In fact, in most states felons can adopt - with 2 exceptions - if they are still on probation/parole (or within 5 or so years of successful completion), or if they were convicted of a crime involving child/sex/drug abuse.  You should consult with an attorney in your area, possibly there is a statute in Iowa relating directly to your situation of which I am unaware.

Of course, this may not apply to overseas adoptions.  Each country will have their own requirements.  For example, a country could require a "Certificate of Good Conduct" from your state.  Basically this involves the state police running a background check and certifying that you have not broken the laws of the state.  However, if you were convicted in another state or on federal charges you could still get a clean "Good Conduct Certificate" even though you had a felony conviction.  You would still have to get U.S. government approval for a foreign adoption and this process requires a fingerprint check, so the conviction would come up.  But if a written explanation were properly worded such approval can be obtained.  The foreign country would never see this letter; they would just see that you had gotten federal approval to adopt and nothing more.  I know, I helped a client with this very situation.  Again, however, it would depend on the country in question.

Hope this helps.  Best of luck.

 

N. K., Member, Iowa and Illinois Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

To ensure that an adoptive parent is fit, a pre-placement investigation is required. Part of this investigation includes a criminal background check.

Adoption will not be approved if within the 5 years preceding the petition for adoption, the adoptive parent has been convicted of drug-related offense or child endangerment or neglect or abandonment of a dependent person, domestic abuse, or a crime against a child (i.e. forcible rape).


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