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Can someone with a criminal record adopt a child or be a foster parent?

Region: Ontario Answer # 2125

Adopting a child

Before adopting a child, whether in Canada or abroad, the individual will be required to provide a local police records check and an RCMP Report as part of the adoption application.

The adoption process is a lengthy, expensive, and complicated legal process requiring many factors to be proved and verified before the child is released into the custody of the applicants. Given the stringent regulations involved in the adoption process, the discovery of a criminal record will result in the application being delayed, and, ultimately, being denied.

For more information on adoption, refer to Adopting a child.

Becoming a foster parent

Before someone can become a foster parent, there is a screening process that must be completed. As part of the screening process, every member of the proposed foster household over the age of eighteen must provide a police records check. If any criminal record is discovered, the application will likely be denied.

If you wish to adopt a child or become a foster parent, it is best to have your criminal record removed first.

Get help

To erase your criminal record, call toll-free 1-888-808-3628 or learn more at Pardon Partners. It’s easier than you think..

If you have been charged with a criminal offence, refer to our criminal law section.

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