Monday, June 22, 2015

Adopted child, adoptive parents can inherit from each other

Dear PAO,
My friend was legally adopted by a wealthy man. The man died five years ago leaving all his properties to my friend. I am just wondering if the biological parents of my friend can inherit from him.
Dear JM,
Adoption is the legal process by which a legitimate relationship is created between the adoptive parents and the adoptee to the effect that the adoptive parents are considered the legitimate parents of the adopted children. This is according to Republic Act (R.A.) No. 8552 or the Domestic Adoption Act of 1998, which provides:
“Section 17. Legitimacy. – The adoptee shall be considered the legitimate son/daughter of the adopter(s) for all intents and purposes and as such is entitled to all the rights and obligations provided by law to legitimate sons/daughters born to them without discrimination of any kind. To this end, the adoptee is entitled to love, guidance, and support in keeping with the means of the family.”
In the same vein, all legal ties between the biological parents and the adopted children are severed and vested in the adopters, unless one of the biological parents is the spouse of the adopter (Section 16, R.A. No. 8552).
Insofar as succession is concerned, the adoptive parents and the adopted child shall exclusively inherit from each other, as explicitly provided by Section 18 of the above-mentioned law, to wit:
“Section 18. Succession. — In legal and intestate succession, the adopter(s) and the adoptee shall have reciprocal rights of succession without distinction from legitimate filiation. However, if the adoptee and his/her biological parent(s) had left a will, the law on testamentary succession shall govern.”
It is clear therefore that the biological parents of an adopted child cannot inherit from the latter and vice-versa except through a will, which must comply with the law on testamentary succession.
Again, we find it necessary to mention that this opinion is solely based on the facts you have narrated and our appreciation of the same. The opinion may vary when the facts are changed or elaborated. We hope that we were able to enlighten you on the matter.
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