Adopted child rights to inheritance

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Latest post 09-16-2011 11:22 PM by Subership. 8 replies.
  • 09-16-2011 1:32 AM

    • Subership
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    Adopted child rights to inheritance

    I am inquiring about a child who was adopted about age 3 in Alaska, by her step father.  Supposedly, mom claimed dad had deserted them.  Biological Dad, claimed mom stole the child and he didn't know where she was.  Regardless the adoption went through, and all public records have step dad's name on them.  When mom left step dad, he received custody of their two sons, but didn't try to get adopted daughter.  Mom kidnapped these 2 sons, claimed abuse, and somehow got away with it.  Here the story gets convoluted.  Daughter wound up living with biological father due to her personality issues others couldln't handle.  It was an unusual relationship, and he pretty much did whatever he could to make her happy, but she had extreme boundary issues.  She never used her Dad's last name, just the adoptive father's.  The three siblings have a "tight" relationship with each other, and now their mom.  Mom re entered the daughters life 6 months ago.  She re-entered the man's life 3 weeks before he was discovered dead.  Now, the daughter, has presented herself as the heir.  Not to many people know that she was adopted 30 years ago by her step father, so not much has been questioned.  The ex-wife claimed to still be married to the father, so there is some possibility that she twists facts a lot, but she somehow managed to get child support through the state of Oregon until she decided to leave daughter with the biological parent.  So, she would've had to hide the adoption and I guess use the original birth certificate to do so.  My question is, how does one get these records?  Was it possible the adoption was reversed without the biological father knowing?  He kept it pretty much to himself, because he didn't want daughter going back to them when she was younger.  But, the final few weeks of his life was very strained, and he had started to set boundaries with her re: stealing and constant demands for money.  Any information is appreciated.

  • 09-16-2011 12:28 PM In reply to

    Re: Adopted child rights to inheritance

    Frankly, the issues you've posted are rather complicated.  I would consult with an attorney who can do the research you ask about, though it is unlikely that an adoption was reversed.

  • 09-16-2011 12:44 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Adopted child rights to inheritance

    You have posed 1/2 your questions elsewhere--easier if you put them all in one place?

    In general persons claiming a portion of an inheritance need to prove they are who and what they say they are --unless of course an all too friendly administrator winks ?

    One does not reverse out an adoption--not in your context anyway.

    She could have moved back in with her bio Dad and been there for decades but that does not undo an adoption

    If child was adopted by step father  the state law shuld be pretty clear as to whether child has any rights to inherit as child via bio Dad --most that I ever saw said no--but apparently a few say yes--you can look it up.

    As to EX wife, either there is or is not  a dovorce order out there some place.

     



  • 09-16-2011 1:02 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: Adopted child rights to inheritance

    You need to confirm details and I could be wrong again---

    Apparently in CO a  child continues to inherit from a bio parent who merely relinquished all rights but rights to inherit  terminate upon adoption by another...but its sure convoluted-----

    Colorado
    Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
    Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 15-11-114(1); 15-11-119
    A parent is barred from inheriting from or through a child of the parent if:
    The parent’s parental rights were terminated and the parent-child relationship was not judicially reestablished.•
    The child died before reaching age 18 and there is clear and convincing evidence that immediately before • the child’s death the parental rights of the parent could have been terminated on the basis of nonsupport, abandonment, abuse, neglect, or other actions or inactions of the parent toward the child.
    Except as otherwise provided below, a parent-child relationship does not exist between an adoptee and the adoptee’s genetic parents. A parent-child relationship exists between a person who is adopted by the spouse of either genetic parent and:
    The genetic parent whose spouse adopted the person•
    The other genetic parent, but only for the purpose of the right of the adoptee or a descendant of the adoptee to • inherit from or through the other genetic parent
    A parent-child relationship exists between a person who is adopted by a second parent and:
    The genetic parent who consented to the adoption•
    The other genetic parent, but only for the purpose of the right of the adoptee or a descendent of the adoptee to • inherit from or through the other genetic parent
    A parent-child relationship exists between both genetic parents and a person who is adopted by a relative of a genetic parent or by the spouse or surviving spouse of a relative of a genetic parent, but only for the purpose of the right of the adoptee or a descendant of the adoptee to inherit from or through either genetic parent.
    A parent-child relationship exists between both genetic parents and a person who is adopted after the death of both genetic parents, but only for the purpose of the adoptee or a descendant of the adoptee to inherit through either genetic parent.
    Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
    Citation: Rev. Stat. § 19-5-211
    After the entry of a final decree of adoption, the adopted person shall be, for all intents and purposes, the child of the petitioner. He or she is entitled to all the rights and privileges and all the obligations of a child born in lawful wedlock of the petitioner.
    Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
    Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 15-11-302; 15-11-705
    Except as provided below, if a testator fails to provide in his or her will for any of his or her children adopted after the execution of the will, the omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate as follows:
    If the testator had no child living when he or she executed the will, an omitted after-adopted child receives a share • in the estate equal in value to that which the child would have received had the testator died intestate, unless the will gave all or substantially all the estate to the other parent of the omitted child and that other parent survives the testator and is entitled to take under the will.
    If the testator has one or more children living when he or she executed the will, and the will gave property or an • interest in property to one or more of the then-living children, an omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share in the estate as follows:
    The portion of the estate that the omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share is limited to bequests made » »to the testator’s then-living children under the will.
    The omitted after-adopted child is entitled to receive the share of the estate that the child would have received » »had all omitted after-born and after-adopted children been included with the children to whom bequests were made and an equal share of the estate given to each child.
    www.childwelfare.gov
    This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information 9
    Gateway. Available online at www.childwelfare.gov/systemwide/laws_policies/statutes/inheritance.cfm
    Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Persons: Summary of State Laws
    Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will cont.
    Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 15-11-302; 15-11-705
    If it appears from the will that the omission was intentional or the testator provided for the omitted after-adopted child by transfer outside the will and the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision is shown by the testator’s statements or is reasonably inferred from the amount of the transfer or other evidence, a share will not be received by the child.
    A class gift that uses a term of relationship to identify class members includes adopted persons.



  • 09-16-2011 1:05 PM In reply to

    Re: Adopted child rights to inheritance

    You probably should have reviewed that post before submission.  :)

    Clearly the biofather didn't step up and defend himself with regard to child support or otherwise.  His choice after he found out about the adoption.  State wouldn't likely have kept track about that if mother asserted X is father.

    Daughter had no legal relationship to her biofather when he died, but what she can pull over the eyes of others, who knows.  It isn't as though the biofather and she couldn't have addressed an adoption overriding any concerns of legal father, even if he'd bother to make them with regard to severing his legal relationship to the adopted daughter.

    "Mom re entered the daughters life 6 months ago.  She re-entered the man's life 3 weeks before he was discovered dead."

    I presume by "the man" you're referring to the biofather.

    "So, she would've had to hide the adoption and I guess use the original birth certificate to do so."

    Well, "hide" as in not mention it, sure.

    "My question is, how does one get these records?"

    One subpoenas the relevant custodian of a given record, presumably in connection with an estate-probate case ... as to both of these very scary (evidently) psychologically messed up women.  (You do not say what heirs this deceased man has, but they're obviously the folks who have an interest in seeing to it that neither of these wenches gets anything.)

    "Was it possible the adoption was reversed without the biological father knowing?"

    The state wouldn't have allowed the second husband/legal father off the hook, no.  The only reason it evidently did so as to the biofather is that he wasn't located and the mother evidently established to the court's satisfaction that she tried to find him or that he abandoned the family.  (And, evidently, the biofather didn't care enough to keep looking for his kid.  The "didn't know where she went" nonsense is an awfully lame excuse, 'cause unless she changed everyone's name and went into hiding ....

  • 09-16-2011 1:20 PM In reply to

    Re: Adopted child rights to inheritance

    I am an adult adoptee. I was adopted as an infant by non-relatives. It was a "closed" adoption.

    Following the deaths of my adoptive parents, I decided to search for bio-mom and bio-dad, and was successful. I now have a nice relationship with both.

    When my adoptive father died, and I was dealing with his lawyer to settle my adoptive father's estate, I asked the lawyer about my status as an adoptee. What he told me surprised me.

    My adoptive father's lawyer is licensed in Kansas, so what he told me necessarily pertains only to Kansas law. Other states could have different laws.

    In Kansas, when my bio-parents relinquished parental rights to me, I did not relinquish inheritance rights to them. I was a minor (actually an infant) and was in no position to relinquish rights to bio-parents. I was unable to make any kind of legal decision at the age of 4 months.

    Thus: If I were to die intestate (without a will), the bio-parents would have no rights to my estate. My adoptive parents would have had rights to my estate, according to Kansas probate law for a deceased unmarried minor. If bio-parents were to die intestate, I would actually have rights to their estate, according to Kansas probate laws for intestacy.

    In other words, my bio-father had four children in his marriage plus me before his marriage. If bio-father were to die as a resident of Kansas and without a will, then according to Kansas probate law, his estate would be divided between his wife and his FIVE children (me and the four others).

    If bio-father wishes to exclude me from inheriting a part of his estate, or exclude any of his other four children, he would have to write a will that specifically names me and specifically excludes me. (I have actually asked him to do just that, as I personally feel I have no moral rights to his money.)

    I do not know what is the probate law that pertains to your situation in your state. I strongly suggest you consult a lawyer licensed to practice in that state and lay out your exact situation. That person will be in a position to offer you correct legal advice.

  • 09-16-2011 2:06 PM In reply to

    Re: Adopted child rights to inheritance

    Note that the poster is (from other posts elsewhere) the girlfriend of the party who died. 

    "Other states could have different laws."

    I'm glad that you allow for this; laws are different by state, yes.  Kansas, along with LA, RI, TX and WY (last count) have by statute a provision that birth kids can still inherit from a birth parent if that parent doesn't bother making a will leaving their stuff to someone else, whether the kid is ultimately adopted by someone else or not.

    This law on this is convoluted in most places (including in at least one state a scenario where the birth kid has reconnected with a birth relative), and yet another focus is on the issue of whether an adopted legal child of a party who then cuts that kid/leaves that kid out of a will as though they were never a legal child is still entitled to a share of that parent's estate.  For some reason, a bunch of parents who adopt somehow form a view that their child as not theirs for purposes of inheritance and they're free to treat the kid as a legal stranger over their other children/whatever  ... which is damned odd, given the givens. 

    Yet another scenario is somewhat like yours in KS where a woman man adopts a child of their spouse after the death of a birth parent; a good many states have a law saying this scenario doesn't affect the ability of the kid to inherit by way of that dead birth parent from other blood relatives so long that dead birth parent's rights hadn't been terminated. 

    "My adoptive parents would have had rights to my estate, according to Kansas probate law for a deceased unmarried minor."

    That's 'cause they're your legal parents.  :)

  • 09-16-2011 11:17 PM In reply to

    • Subership
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    Re: Adopted child rights to inheritance

    Thanks CuriousinCA:  The reason I'm following this up, is no one knows she was adopted by the stepfather here really.  There are no public record anywhere suggesting she is my s.o. daughter.  We just knew it by history.  And, there was something very troubling going on before his death.  I can't put it here, lets just say I do not believe it was natural, and I'm trying to figure things out as much as I can on my own before I hire someone.  

  • 09-16-2011 11:22 PM In reply to

    • Subership
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    Re: Adopted child rights to inheritance

    Chancey1, actually she did just that.  And she took the other kids and hid them when the second husband was awarded custody.  The biofather did take care of his child from 11 on, and didn't push things becaused he wanted to keep her.  The mom did claim desertion as far as I know to get step parent to adopt.  The original birth was an home birth, and so far records are sparse.  The birth father did not have any resources at the time this happened, but was happy to care for his daughter once she showed up....ie mom couldn't handle her problems any more.  I've actually acted as mom to the girl who is now 33 for the last 10 years.  When mom showed up, that was the first thing she attacked.  But, you're right there is more going on here than I ever knew.  And, I don't believe the death was natural.

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