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F E Smith
F E Smith, Advocate
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 9358
Experience:  I have been practising for 30 years.
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I was adopted at age 6 months in 1966. When I was 11 my

Customer Question

Hello, I was adopted at age 6 months in 1966. When I was 11 my adopted parents had their own biological child and placed me back in the care system stating I was beyond parental control. They then took me out again and put me back in again. This pattern repeated itself a few times until I was 15and they tried to place a care order on me until I was 18. I don't know the outcome except that I wasn't placed in care but went to live with an older boyfriend. Appro 27 years passed then with no contact until I wrote them and we reestablished contact. Their biological child died 2 years ago and I would like to know whether I am entitled to inherit? As far as I know I am still legally adopted by them but I am not sure about the care order situation? My parents are now getting quite senile so getting any sensible answer from them is not possible. Would be very grateful for any advice and if there are any registers that confirm whether I am still legally adopted.. Thanks
Submitted: 11 months ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Yes you are.

It is not possible for parents to “divorce”(metaphorically speaking) themselves from their children, nor the children from their parents.

Once someone has been legally adopted, it is not possible to “un-adopt” them.

They are treated as though they are natural children and there’s no way of getting round that other than, before the child reaches 18, it being further adopted.

So, in your circumstances, you are still the child of your adopted parents.

Can I clarify anything for you?

Please rate the service positive.

It doesn’t cost you anything but helped me greatly.

We can still exchange emails.

Best wishes.


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for your fast response! Just to clarify, what if they succeeded in placing a care order on me from 15 yrs old - 18yrs.
I was in and out an assessment centre between ages 11-15yrs, was taken by the police there ( my father worked for the police though) so to be clear, I am asking if they succeeded in placing the care order in court ( I remember going to court but not what happened) then are they still legally my adopted parents? To make matters more complicated I then changed my name to my birth mothers name. Not by deed poll I don't think but legally through a solicitor. I no longer have this paperwork.
My parents as I said are quite senile now and can't even remember my name half the time so I don't hold out much hope of them correctly entering it into a will. My birth name is ***** ***** passport but I have in my possession all my adoption papers.. Thanks for your help
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

Thank you. You are still legally adopted.

Please don’t forget to rate positive. Then I get paid.


Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I will definitely rate very positive! Sorry if I am asking something you feel you clarified but I'm still worried...please can you clarify that if a care order was placed in court, from age 15-18 years.. I am definitely still legally adopted? It would appear that they (parents) were saying that they could no longer accept responsibility for my care and handed me over to the state to care for.
Expert:  F E Smith replied 11 months ago.

A care order is given by a court and puts a child under the care of a local Health and Social Care (HSC) Trust. The Trust then share parental responsibility for the child with the parents and will make most of the important decisions about the child's upbringing, such as where they live and what school they go to. It doesnt unadopt a child.

F E Smith and other Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Thank you for clarifying this
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Hello, i have a further question about this issue. what if my adopted parents write a will to give their money to someone else?
thank you
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Remember, you are treated as a natural child. Illegitimate children and adopted children are treated exactly the same as natural children.

Hence, you can make all the claims on the estate that a natural child would make including a claim for a share of the estate under the Inheritance Provision for Family and Dependents Act 1975

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. I am aware of that so perhaps my question misleading .. What is the law when a parent puts in his/ her will that they want to leave their estate to someone else other than their child or worse that they specifically don't want to leave it to their child,
Also I would like to ask what happens in the case of a name change. I did not do mine by deed poll I don't think. But my new name is ***** ***** passport. To complicate matters further I was 6 months or so old when adopted and I do not know if it is my birth parents name on my birth certificate.
I ask these questions because both my adopted parents have quite severe memory problems and in my fathers case delusions as he has parkinsons
Thank you for your response
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

The name change is immaterial. You can change your name to what you like but you are the same physical person. All you would need to do is prove that you were the same physical person by producing the deed poll and if you have it, your birth certificate and an old passport or driving licence. The more you have, the better.

I have answered your question about parents putting in their will that they want to leave their estate to someone else other than their child or that they’ve specified they specifically don’t want to leave it to their child, in the second paragraph above. It is an inheritance act claim.

Legally, the parents named on your birth certificate are your birth parents. That is until such time as the court says otherwise.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you. *****'m not quite clear about is if my parents did not want to leave their estate to me in their will and I made an inheritance claim would the court award it to me? I gave heard stories where they don't and they did contact me for 30years. With regard to the name change, as I mentioned earlier, I changed my name with s solicitor. It was so long ago I don't have paperwork but it was not by deed poll. I remember at the time he said it was legally valid but deed poll was more complex. I can obtain my original birth certificate I think by applying fir it. I have all my adoption papers and school reports. I don't have an old passport and I don't drive, so I just want to make sure that In the event I am challenged I have enough to prove it
Customer: replied 10 months ago.
I meant to say they did not contact me for 30 years
Expert:  F E Smith replied 10 months ago.

Because of the length of this thread and the age of it, I no longer get notifications on the website you’re waiting. I may not get back to you immediately.

The fact remains that you are your natural parents child and they brought you into the world and you didn’t ask to be brought into the world and that’s why even if you were estranged from your parents for many years, still be entitled in most circumstances, to make a claim under the Inheritance Act.

Such claims are not easy to bring and can be risky but because you are likely to get something (it would not be half or an equal share with other siblings necessarily) you may find solicitors who will deal with it on a no win no fee basis.

Customer: replied 10 months ago.
Thank you I really appreciate you getting back to me. Just one thing confused me. They are not my natural parents, they didn't bring me into the world. they are my adopted parents. However I take the point that under inheritance law I am entitled the same as a parents birth child would be as far as I understand, with my natural birth parents I have no right to inherit from them
Thank you for your patience. It's sometimes difficult by messages for me at lest to interpret as correctly than if it were a face to face conversation. Being a student I'm afraid I can't afford a phone consultation at this stage in the matter.