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Question on adoption and property inheritance among christians

(Querist) 17 October 2013 This query is : Resolved 
An Indian Christian (Protestant) couple adopted a male child (around 6 months old at the time of adoption) in the year 1967 in Karnataka. In 1996, the father passed away and left a will to the effect that the property was to go to the wife and to the adopted son after the wife's demise. The said property was sold an year later as the wife and the adopted son moved to another city within Karnataka. The wife invested the proceeds from the sale in another property in the new city.

There are 2 issues which raise questions:

1. The adopted son has recently discovered that there is no documentary proof regarding the adoption. Please let us know if it is possible at this time for the mother to prepare a document which will serve as evidence that the son was adopted 45 years back. If such a document can be prepared, please let us know the procedure to follow and what type of document (e.g., a deed or affidavit) this would best be and also please give a format of the document, if possible.

2. The wife (the mother) wants her adopted son to inherit all her property after her demise. Please let us know what you think is the best way to do this. Is it better for her to prepare a will or a settlement deed with a life interest for her?

Best Regards and thanks in advance for your time.
adv. rajeev ( rajoo ) (Expert) 17 October 2013
Let her execute the will in the name of adopted son. In the recital she can he is the adopted son.
Anon Unknown (Querist) 17 October 2013
Thank you for the response. Is the mention in the will sufficient proof about the adoption? Are there any chances of problems if there is no other evidence of the adoption especially because the property has been inherited from the husband's side?
prabhakar singh (Expert) 17 October 2013
You have stated that the property inherited from husband has already been sold long back in year 1997,hence there should not be any cause of worry about that.

You have stated that before death your husband testated a Will in which heirship of your's and that of this adopted son was recognised.

Christian Law does not know the concept of adoption nor does know muslim law,so only few converts from Hindus in south has been
practicing adoption.

However Christian law also does not bar adoption,then courts recognize that Christian couples without child can adopt minor child,bring up and nurse up them till their minority as their lawful guardian till their minority whereafter legal relationship gets closed between child and
guardian on child attaining majority and right to inheritance would not be there unless there is a Will,yet in one case even right to inheritance under law was recognized by the court.

So what lies between the lines for you that
you need a masterly drafted recital in your will that the boy,beneficiary of your will,was adopted,brought up, nursed up,and educated by your husband and you since he was only 6 year old and you have natural love and affection towards him,who takes due care of you as if a son born to you could have taken and you do wish and he is only person to succeed properties you leave

This way nothing would come in his way because as owner you can choose any body
your successor whether lawful adoptions gets proved or not.Since will with recital of the kind suggested here would take care of every situation.

So you need to visit a civil lawyer chamber
to discuss the matter in the line of my suggestions advanced here and get a properly drafted will registered.
santhosh.g. (Expert) 17 October 2013
there is no specific provision for adoption in christian law, guardian and wards act is the applicable law. at this juncture it is also not applicable to this case. execution of a will or a gift in favor of the son(adopted) is good. in the recital it can be stated "that due to the love and affection as adopted son and for the wellbeing the properties are bequeathed( or gifted) in favor of "
ABDUL RAZIQUE (Expert) 17 October 2013
well advice by expert, nothing need to add more.
Anon Unknown (Querist) 17 October 2013
To clarify, the son was adopted and brought up by both the husband and wife. Though the husband's will mentions the son, it is not mentioned that he was adopted.

Thanks for all the swift responses from all the experts.
prabhakar singh (Expert) 17 October 2013
Yet no problem at all if you choose to recite as suggested by me because you
have right to choose any body even other than him to inherit you but this is only to demonstrate legal position and not to disinherit him.
prabhakar singh (Expert) 17 October 2013
I would be very sad if I ever come to know you had anyone other than him to inherit you.
Anon Unknown (Querist) 17 October 2013
The adopted son is the one intended by the mother to inherit the property. She just wanted to ensure that he would not face any problems later. She will contact a good lawyer in her city and proceed as suggested by you.
Thanks again for your replies and clarifications.
ABDUL RAZIQUE (Expert) 17 October 2013
Mr Anon
you are describing your problem one by one so it is not possible to advice you perfectly.

Always try to describe full matter and not suppress any fact.
Hemant Agarwal (Expert) 21 October 2013
1. WILL or a GIFT deed, can be made in anybodys favor, which can include the local paan-wala, the neighbour, the town Church, the local NGO, a Charity trust. (Subject to various parameters).

2. In the instant matter:
Will is executed by Mr. AAA (Father), bequeating property to Wife and his self-declared adopted Son. Adoption without legal documents, is null & void, ab-initio.

3. Note: so called Self-Declared Adopted Son, has no locus-standi as a "Legal Heir" of Will-Maker (father), hence CANNOT claim any rights, whatsoever, over the Will-Maker's property, as far Legal Heir beneficiary /Claim rights are concerned.

4. Next: Since the property of Mr. AAA (father) has already been sold off by Mrs. BBB (Wife) and the money appropriated accordingly by purchasing a new property in her own name, the Will of Mr. AAA has now become redundant, as far as the original property is concerned.

5. Preparing a pre-dated document of 1967, pertaining to adoption of child, shall be pure fraud and forgery, irrespective of presence or non-presence of other claimaints. AND NEITHER will any today-dated deed or affidavit, will legalise the adoption, in any way.

6. As a solution, Mrs. BBB (wife) can Gift her property, during her life time to Mr. CCC (adopted son) and relieve off her emotional reponsibility (of course, this would be highly unwise, atleast socially).

7. HOWEVER to protect her own existence, Mrs. BBB (wife) may Will her property, to Mr. CCC (adopted son), without the botheration of lawfully Adoption procedures or whatever. Obviously the Will would be effective after demise of Mrs. BBB (wife) and down the line-of-life, she may introspect several times, about her final decision.

Keep Smiling .... Hemant Agarwal
Anirudh (Expert) 21 October 2013
Normally we do not answer queries from 'Anonymous Persons'.

However, since experts have already answered your query, let me also give my views.

FIRST AND FOREMOST, let bygones be bygones. If the lady in question wants to give the property by way of WILL to the son in question (whether adopted or not will not come in the way at all), she can jolly well make a WILL and register the same in favour of the son. In fact, to avoid confusion and any legal tangle, it would be better, to avoid the word 'adopted son'. In the proposed WILL, the lady can very well describe how the little boy was being reared by her and her husband from child hood and how they are treating him as their son etc. etc., and therefore she is desirous of bequeathing the property in question to the said Mr........ (Son).


ajay sethi (Expert) 21 October 2013
agree with anirudh
ajay sethi (Expert) 21 October 2013
agree with anirudh / prabhakar singhji
Rajendra K Goyal (Expert) 22 October 2013
Well advised by the experts, nothing more to add.

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