DUIs and AdoptionQ: My husband and I would really like to adopt and we have been doing research on it, and I have found a few blog/group sites where people mention having DUI’s and not being able to adopt. My husband had a DUI in 2005. The courts called it a petty misdemeanor, and he had a minor in possession of alcohol in 1995 at 17. Are we able to adopt with our history or are we out of luck?

A: Well, no doubt about it, a recent DUI or DWI certainly limits your adoption options. Your husband’s alcohol possession as a minor is likely not as much of a concern. You have several factors to consider. First, with international adoption, certain countries have specific limitations with criminal history. Other countries are more forgiving so long as they think that his drinking is not a current problem. In addition, adoption agencies may have their own prohibitions against placing with a couple with a fairly recent DUI in their past. With birth mother placement programs such as US domestic newborn adoption, birth mothers may be hesitant to place with a couple with a DUI.

This information will come out during the adoption process so you need to address it up front, and preferably before you spend any money. Call the agencies you are thinking about and specifically ask if his DUI or DWI will be a problem. Also tell them about anything that he has done since then that may be relevant, such as stopping drinking, limiting his consumption of alcohol, going to rehab or counseling, etc.


Image credit: J. Star