Everyone who wants to adopt, has to have an enhanced Disclosure and Barring Service check (DBS).  This will reveal any convictions committed, including ‘spent’ convictions.  If you have lived abroad for any length of time, we will also seek a check from the relevant country.

Having a previous conviction does not necessarily prevent you from being considered as an adoptive parent.  A shoplifting conviction at 17 is very unlikely to be a problem. 

Every assessment is seen by the agency’s legal advisor who will take a view about any conviction and its implications for an adoption application.  The length of time which has passed since the conviction, the context and what you say about what happened are all taken into account.

There are some ‘Specified Offences’ which would automatically preclude you from adopting.  These include offences committed against children and some sexual offences. 

There are some other offences which may also mean that Adoption Focus could not take your application forward – e.g. drink driving and public disorder convictions (which may indicate a drink problem).
 
All the checks we do are about making sure that children are safe.