Adoption and Inheritance Rights
With the latest scandal at St. Patrick’s Guild with their adoption records, questions have been asked about adoption and inheritance rights, and succession rights. Does an adopted child have rights from both their birth parents and their adoptive parents?
To clarify, once a child is adopted, they are deemed to be the child of the adoptive parents, and are not entitled to any portion of their natural parents’ estate. There are no Succession rights from their birth parents, but there are Succession rights from their adoptive parents.
For example, if the adoptive father died without a Will, leaving his wife & one adopted child, that child is entitled to one third of his Estate under the Succession Act 1965. If the birth father died and left a wife and a child who had been adopted to another family, that adopted child has no claim against the birth father’s Estate, and his wife would inherit the entire Estate.
The relevant reference in the Status of Children Act, 1987 is Section 3(2):
With the St. Patrick’s Guild Society adoption scandal, or what we know of it to date anyway, there should be no inheritance issues, because the persons wrongly named on the birth certificates were the adoptive parents, i.e. the persons deemed from the date of the adoption order to be the parents of the child. The adopted children were not entitled to any portion of their birth parents’ estate.
A point to note, from an inheritance tax point of view – if a birth parent wished to leave the child a gift or inheritance, the child can claim the higher, Group A Tax-free Threshold (€310,000), the same as an inheritance from their adoptive parents. This was brought in in the Finance Act 2001.
If you have any queries about this, please don’t hesitate to contact Susan Murphy, Solicitor today either by phone 086-8377559 or by email email@example.com