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Criminal Record Bureau

All those seeking to adopt will need to furnish a Criminal Records Bureau Certificate to show that there is no criminal reason they should not adopt a child.


If you, your partner or any other adult living in the household, has been convicted or cautioned in respect of any crime that relates to children, then you will not be able to adopt.

It is imperative that an adoptive child is safe in their new home, to this end you must be willing to allow the adoption agency to look into your background and see if you have been charged with a serious offence. The normal procedure for a background check is for you to provide an up-to-date Police check from the Criminal Records Bureau.

You may be asked to provide this document even before the social worker begins the Home study or sends you on the preparation course.  If there is a delay in acquiring the Police Check, they may go ahead with the Home Study, but the assessment will not be considered complete and the Home Study report not written, until the Police report has been issued.

If you have been living out of the country for an extended period of time, you may be asked to provide a Police report from that country, or the adoption agency may carry out other checks and ask you to provide further referees who they may speak to.  The adoption agency will then decide if they have sufficient information to proceed with your application.

If it becomes apparent that you, your partner or an adult member of the household has committed an offence against a child then you will be notified as soon as possible that you will not be considered suitable to adopt a child.

If there are convictions or cautions for other offences, the agency will consider this on a case by case basis and will use their discretion on the decision to go forward or not.

If they decide not to proceed with the adoption application for whatever reason then they should counsel you with respect to withdrawing your application, and they will write a brief report to that effect.

If another adult living in your home is responsible for committing a crime you will be told that you cannot go ahead because of the evidence that has come forward. The social worker is not at liberty to discuss the nature of the crime, but they should counsel you that the checks indicate that you cannot go forward with the adoption application.


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