I recently had to block someone for legitimate reasons. They retaliated by blocking me on another wiki that I don't even visit. The adoption rules say that you can't be blocked anywhere. My question is, would I still be allowed to adopt a wiki, since I haven't actually done anything to warrant being blocked?
There is not really a link needed in this case, as this is a general question which doesn't have to be related to a specific wiki. I understand that it's your favorite template, UpnCbs06, but that doesn't mean that you should use it on every single thread you come across. The second sentence is somewhat true, in the sense that a desired solution is just to appeal your ban or block on the message wall of the admin here on Community Central. However, that has little to do with adoptions. In case of adoptions, blocks on other wikis used to be considered on a case-by-case-basis to see if the requester for adoption actually contributed negatively, or like here almost in revenge. However, now the guidelines seem stricter, and this is probably something you would have to discuss with the staff member who replies to your request. As another option, you could always use Special:Contact to message them about that block by proving you haven't edited/visited that wiki.
What indication do you have that they no longer check the nature of the blocks?
In the past, staff used to revert retaliation blocks. Especially if they were on wikis the blocked user never contributed to.
This, along with checking the nature of blocks against a user requesting adoption of a wiki, would seem to fit in well with Fandom's new goal of cracking down on bad faith adminship. So I have trouble believing they would stop checking reasons for blocks.
To be clear, I don't know if they stopped checking individual blocks, but I do know that the growing number of staff responding to adoption requests can cause inconsistencies in their assessment, especially if they have just been doing it for a short time. I reckon staff has a list of those guidelines somewhere, and if some of those staff members interpret guidelines as really hard rules, it is not clear if there is a consensus to check individual blocks or not. With 1 person checking adoption requests (possibly 2), and has been doing it for a long time, you usually knew what to expect, but with 5-6 different people, of which most are not full-time staff, this is uncertain.
From what I heard, the policy of bad adminship isn't finished yet, but that's also why I still mentioned that they could contact staff.