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UN Declaration Relating to the Welfare of Children (1986)

Local variations of policy with respect to succession by adopted children sometimes give rise to situations in which the law which is ordinarily regarded as proper to control the succession differs from the rules in force where the adoption proceedings took place insofar as the ability of an adopted child to inherit from persons other than his adopted parents is concerned. There are decisions which permit the child to inherit only in conformity with the law controlling the adoption.21 But cases to the effect that the child can inherit as permitted by the law which governs the succession22 seem to reach a more consistent result since the question before the court is in reality whether the claimant as an adopted child is within a class permitted to succeed as heir, not only to the property of his adoptive parents, but also to that of their blood relatives. In other words, the differences in the laws of the two jurisdictions seem to be due to differences in policy with respect to succession by adopted children, rather than to differences in policy with respect to adoption. Most but not all of the cases involving recognition of foreign adoption have grown out of claims made by adopted children to participate in the distribution and descent of decedents’ estates. When the rules with respect to succession have been substantially the same at the forum as abroad, a large majority of the courts have experienced no difficulty in recognizing the effectiveness for local purposes of the foreign proceedings. 9 A few have, however, taken the position that a child adopted in another state may not inherit local land; some have so held even though legislative provisions at the situs permitted inheritance by children locally adopted. Whether adopted children may inherit, and from whom, would seem to be dearly matters of local policy; and if the courts at the situs of property have come to the conclusion, because of the absence of a statute permitting it or because of their construction of the local adoption and inheritance statutes