The inheritance rights of adopted children have a long, complex history in many jurisdictions. In Georgia, add into the adoption equation the equitable doctrine of “virtual adoption.” In a virtual adoption, the ‘adopting parent’ orally agrees to adopt the child of another as his or her own without actually legally adopting the child and all parties act on the oral agreement to adopt. Virtual adoption is not legal or statutory adoption. It is an equitable remedy that is applied only upon the death of the ‘adopting parent’ to avoid an unfair result to the ‘adopted child’ by the application of intestacy laws.
As might be expected, these virtual adoption situations are very fact specific. There must be evidence of an actual oral agreement to adopt and evidence that all the parties acted on that agreement. The peopleRead More