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Pregnancy can be a wonderful experience but, for many people who have been involved with the criminal justice system, it can also be a very stressful time as it may involve the declaration of a criminal conviction within the household. 

Booking appointment with a criminal record

It is at your booking appointment, which normally takes place at around 12 weeks of pregnancy, that you are likely to be asked about any criminal convictions in your household. 

Section 7 of the Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974 states that the protections of the Act do not apply in relation to proceedings relating to the care of children. It is therefore important to disclose any and all convictions. 

Will social work become involved?

Upon disclosure of a criminal conviction, depending on the conviction, the midwife is likely to refer you to Children and Families Social Work for an assessment of the situation.  Please see our page on Children and Families Social Work for more information on what the process may involve. 

The assessment process can be a stressful experience that you might prefer to avoid. However, given the fact that social work referrals can come from anyone, whether known to you or anonymous, it is often very much in your best interests to get ahead of the process by self-disclosing and maintaining an open dialogue with social work throughout. 

Advice and support

If you need to seek legal advice, the Scottish Child Law Centre provides free legal advice about children’s rights and child law in Scotland. 

A table with examples of appropriate language use
A table showing the notification periods for the various sentence types. Prison sentence of 30 months or more (including life), Indefinite. Order for lifelong restriction, Indefinite. Admission to a hospital subject to a restriction order, Indefinite. Prison sentence of more than 6 months but less than 30 months, 10 years. Prison sentence of 6 months or less, 7 years. Admission to a hospital without a restriction order, 7 years. Community payback order with an offender supervision requirement, The length of the offender supervision requirement. Any other sentence (e.g. a fine or admonition), 5 years.
Last updated:
February 24, 2024


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