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Category: Family Law
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Experience:  30 years as a family law lawyer .
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Can a convicted felon or adopt children in Kentucky?

Customer Question

Can a convicted felon foster or adopt children in Kentucky?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Family Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 5 months ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question and respond.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 5 months ago.

Yes legally it is possible for a felon to foster or adopt a child.The law does not restrict this at all.You have the legal right to foster or adopt here same as anyone else.The conviction should not bar this at all.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.Thanks again and good luck with the foster/adoption.

Expert:  Zoey, JD replied 5 months ago.

.I am a different expert. While in most instances, your previous expert is correct and there would be no bar to a felon adopting or fostering a child, there are a few felonies that would automatically disqualif you. They are listed in 922 KAR 1:490. Specifically, Section 2 (4) says:

(4) An applicant shall not be approved if:

(a) A criminal records check reveals that the applicant, or adult member of the household, has a:

1. Felony conviction involving:

a. A spouse, a child, sexual violence, or death as described by 42 U.S.C. 671(a)(20); or

b. Physical abuse, battery, a drug, or alcohol within the five (5) year period prior to application;

2. Criminal conviction relating to child abuse or neglect; or

3. Civil judicial determination related to child abuse or neglect;

(b) A child abuse or neglect check reveals that the applicant, adolescent member of the household, or adult member of the household, has been found to have:

1. Committed sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child;

2. Been responsible for a child fatality related to abuse or neglect; or

3. Had parental rights terminated involuntarily in accordance with KRS 625.050 through 625.120 or another state's laws; or

(c) An address check of the Sex Offender Registry and supporting documentation confirm that a sex offender resides at the applicant’s home address.

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 5 months ago.

Here is the law let me supplement here

922 KAR 1:490. Background checks forfoster and adoptive parents, caretaker relatives, kinship caregivers, andreporting requirements.

RELATESTO: ***** ***** 199.011(7), 199.462(1), 600.020(55), (56),605.090(1)(b), (6), 605.120, 605.130, 620.050(5), Chapter 625, 45 C.F.R.1356.30, 42 U.S.C. 671(a)(20)

STATUTORYAUTHORITY: KRS 194A.050(1), 199.462(4), 199.640(5), 605.120(5), (6),605.130(4), 605.150

NECESSITY,FUNCTION, AND CONFORMITY: KRS 194A.050(1) requires the secretary to promulgateadministrative regulations necessary to implement programs mandated by federallaw, qualify for the receipt of federal funds, and necessary to cooperate withother state and federal agencies for the proper administration of the cabinetand its program. KRS 199.462(4) requires the cabinet to promulgate anadministrative regulation for the purpose of requiring a criminal backgroundinvestigation on behalf of a foster or adoptive parent applicant, an adultmember of the applicant's household, and a caretaker relative. KRS 605.150authorizes the cabinet to promulgate administrative regulations to implementthe provisions of KRS Chapter 605, including:

(1)KRS 605.120(5) and (6) by which the cabinet is authorized to establish aprogram for kinship care; and

(2)KRS 605.130(4) by which the cabinet shall perform such other services as may bedeemed necessary for the protection of children. KRS 199.640(5) authorizes thecabinet to promulgate administrative regulations establishing basic standardsof care and service for child-placing agencies relating to the health andsafety of all children in the care of the agency. This administrativeregulation establishes background check requirements for caretaker relatives,kinship caregivers, or applicants seeking to provide foster or adoptiveservices. Additionally, this administrative regulation imposes a stricterrequirement than the federal mandate because the cabinet requires the denial ofan applicant if: (1) a criminal record check conducted on behalf of an adulthousehold member reveals physical abuse, battery, or a drug or alcohol-relatedfelony within the previous five (5) year period or a felony involving a spouse,a child, sexual violence, or death; or (2) a child abuse or neglect check conductedby the cabinet reveals that a household member, twelve (12) years of age orolder, committed sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child, has beenresponsible for a child fatality related to abuse or neglect, or has had parentalrights terminated involuntarily.

Section1. Definitions. (1) "Address check" means a search of the SexOffender Registry to determine if an address is a known address of a registeredsex offender.

(2)"Adolescent member of the household" means a youth who:

(a)Resides in the home of:

1.An individual who applies for approval or has been approved to provide fosteror adoptive services; or

2.A caretaker relative or kinship caregiver;

(b)Is age twelve (12) through age seventeen (17); and

(c)Is not placed in the home by a state agency.

(3)"Adult member of the household" means an adult who:

(a)Resides in the home of:

1.An individual who applies for approval or has been approved to provide fosteror adoptive services; or

2.A caretaker relative or kinship caregiver; and

(b)Is eighteen (18) years of age or older.

(4)"Applicant" means an individual who applies for approval as a fosteror adoptive parent of a child in the custody of the state under:

(a)922 KAR 1:350, Family Preparation; or

(b)922 KAR 1:310, Standards for Child-Placing Agencies.

(5)"Caretaker relative" means a relative:

(a)With whom the child is, or shall be, placed by the cabinet; and

(b)Who is seeking to qualify as a kinship caregiver in accordance with 922 KAR1:130.

(6)"Child-placing agency" is defined by KRS 199.011(7).

(7)"Kinship caregiver" means the qualified caretaker relative of a childwith whom the child is placed by the cabinet as alternative to foster care inaccordance with 922 KAR 1:130.

(8)"Sex Offender Registry" means the registration system for adults whohave committed sex crimes or crimes against minors established in accordancewith KRS 17.500 through 17.580.

(9)"Sexual abuse" is defined by KRS 600.020(55).

(10)"Sexual exploitation" is defined by KRS 600.020(56).

Section2. Background Checks Required for Foster or Adoptive Parent Applicants. (1) Anapplicant, and each adult member of the household, shall complete a DPP-157,Background Checks for Applicants or Foster/Adoptive Parents, and submit to:

(a)An in-state criminal records check, conducted pursuant to KRS 199.462(1), bythe:

1.Kentucky Justice and Public Safety Cabinet; or

2.Administrative Office of the Courts;

(b)A child abuse or neglect check conducted by the cabinet for each state ofresidence during the past five (5) years;

(c)A criminal records check conducted by means of a fingerprint check of theNational Crime Information Database; and

(d)An address check of the Sex Offender Registry.

(2)Prior to approval of an applicant, each adolescent member of the household shallcomplete a DPP-157 and submit to a child abuse or neglect check conducted bythe cabinet.

(3)A Kentucky child abuse or neglect check conducted by the cabinet shall identifythe name of each applicant, adolescent member of the household, or adult memberof the household who has been found by the cabinet to have:

(a)Committed sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child;

(b)Been responsible for a child fatality related to abuse or neglect;

(c)Abused or neglected a child within the seven (7) year period immediately priorto the application; or

(d)Had parental rights terminated.

(4)An applicant shall not be approved if:

(a)A criminal records check reveals that the applicant, or adult member of thehousehold, has a:

1.Felony conviction involving:

a.A spouse, a child, sexual violence, or death as described by 42 U.S.C.671(a)(20); or

b.Physical abuse, battery, a drug, or alcohol within the five (5) year periodprior to application;

2.Criminal conviction relating to child abuse or neglect; or

3.Civil judicial determination related to child abuse or neglect;

(b)A child abuse or neglect check reveals that the applicant, adolescent member ofthe household, or adult member of the household, has been found to have:

1.Committed sexual abuse or sexual exploitation of a child;

2.Been responsible for a child fatality related to abuse or neglect; or

3.Had parental rights terminated involuntarily in accordance with KRS 625.050through 625.120 or another state's laws; or

(c)An address check of the Sex Offender Registry and supporting documentationconfirm that a sex offender resides at the applicant’s home address.

As long as you don't have one of the specified felonies then it is not a problem here.I wanted to clarify this for you .

Expert:  RayAnswers replied 5 months ago.

Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.

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