Monday, December 01, 2008

Can an adoptee inherit his adoptive parents’ lands?

A story out of the Cook Islands hit my google alert today – a court case involving adoption and inheritance.

Heh, yeah, tell me about it.

Nothing brings out the worst in people more than inheritance – unless one of those up to inherit is a bastard. Even in cases where the adoptive parents have specifically made provisions for an adoptee, I’ve heard of money hungry aunts, uncles or real kid siblings singing a different tune entirely once it’s time to divvy up the proceeds. Sometimes it’s nothing so large as a house or share of a retirement fund. It could be an emotionally significant piece of ephemera – a rosary, a china set, a ring. Things people feel best to “keep in the family” , the real one mind you, not the forever one.

It doesn’t matter if it’s an estate in the Cook Islands or an old prayer medal. These ugly reminders of difference are painful to read.

Lawsuit in the Cook Islands over adoption and inheritance. The question before the Court of Appeal was whether a legally adopted child has the same rights of succession to lands from their adoptive parents as the natural children. In other words, does the legally adopted child qualify as a ‘direct descendant’ ?

read more | digg story

This reminded me of a related older post by Wraith - Somewhere to Belong.

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