“My fiance’s sister’s children are involved with child protection services in PA and are possibly going to be taken away from her. These children (2 boys 11 and 13) have been living with us in NJ for the summer. Now my question is this: My fiance was convicted of a sexual assault about 11 years ago. He was 18 and slept with a 14 year old girl. He received a statutory rape charge and served 2 years. Will that charge hinder us from gaining custody and becoming the boys’ foster parents? ”
In California where I practice, and in all jurisdictions I viewed, there is a criminal background check of all prospective adoptive parents. California 8712 (b) provides: “[t]he criminal record, if any, shall be taken into consideration when evaluating the prospective adoptive parent, and an assessment of the effects of any criminal history on the ability of the prospective adoptive parent to provide adequate and proper care and guidance to the child shall be included in the report to the court.”
I believe even if you are trying to adopt alone, the agencies involved will ask you about the people you are living with, are having a relationship with or intend to marry. I do not know whether an 11 year old conviction would be fatal to an adoption, so check it out with a local attorney specializing in adoption.