Felony conviction long ago doesn’t prevent man from adopting

Even though a state law says that anyone who has been convicted of a violent crime can’t adopt a child, an exception can be made for unusual circumstances, a New York judge recently ruled.

In that case, a married woman had had custody of a seven-year-old boy since he was born, and she wanted to adopt him. In New York, a married person can’t adopt a child unless his or her spouse is also part of the adoption. But the woman’s husband had been convicted of third-degree robbery nearly 20 years earlier, which disqualified him.

Nevertheless, a judge said an exception should be made in this case. The judge found that the husband had completely rehabilitated himself, and that the child would suffer a devastating impact if he were taken from the home. Therefore, the child’s best interest required that there be an exception to the rule.