The child must be under the age of 16 when he/she is being adopted. There is also a requirement for the child to have lived in the household of adopted parents for 2 years prior to his/her adoption. I recommend you evaluate all your option with an experienced attorney.
There is no expungement procedure available in New York. However, you can apply for a certificate of relief from civil disabilities. In general, Section 701 provides that a certificate may relieve an eligible offender of any forfeiture or disability, or remove any bar to employment, automatically imposed by law by reason of conviction of the crime or the offense. A conviction for a crime specified in a certificate of relief from disabilities shall not cause automatic forfeiture of any license,...
You have to think of references from other scientists in the field who would be able to attest to your status as an engineer of extraordinary ability,, someone who has risen to the top in his field of expertise. Generally speaking, if you have an employer it is safer to go through a labor certification process in the second employment-based category. They are moving very fast and we have had great success rate with engineers.
With proper legal representation, you may be able to work out a deal that would not require you to plead guilty, such as an ACD, an adjournment in contemplation of dismissal. You may be required to pay a fine and/or attend a shoplift program. Please check out my web site.
Police has to have probable cause to search someone and these issues are explored at a Mapp hearing. A pat down for weapons is not justified unless there is there is reason to believe the person is armed.