Key Considerations for Including Adopted Children in Wills

A WILL outlines the distribution of assets according to your wishes after your death. When creating a profile on an adoption platform as a parent seeking to adopt a child, it’s essential to provide relevant and accurate information about yourself, your family, and your intentions to ensure a transparent and trustworthy adoption process. 

While you don’t necessarily need to mention your will in your parent profiles explicitly, you may consider including certain related information or details to convey your commitment and preparedness as prospective adoptive parents.

Even a birth parent can consider adding the child they gave for adoption in their will. You need to know some key considerations and property rights related to adopted children.

Adoptive Family’s Will

  • Legal Recognition 

In most jurisdictions, adopted kids are lawfully recognized as full and equal members of the adoptive family. It means that they have the same inheritance rights as biological children. When creating a will, adopted parents should treat their adopted and biological children equally to ensure a fair distribution of assets.

  • Clarity and Specificity

To avoid ambiguity or potential disputes, it is essential to be clear and specific in your will. You should also learn about the best time to do a will. You must name each adopted child and outline their inheritance rights in your will. Specify all the assets that they are entitled to receive. This clarity helps prevent misunderstandings or legal challenges in the future.

  • Guardianship

Adoptive parents must designate a legal guardian in their will because both can pass away suddenly when the adoptive child is still a minor. It ensures the child is safe and cared for after the adoptive parents are no longer alive.

  • Updates

Circumstances in your life change, so updating your will periodically to reflect these fluctuations is essential. Suppose you adopt additional children or experience significant life events such as divorce or remarriage. In that case, it’s advisable to revise your will accordingly to ensure the fair distribution of assets among all your adopted and biological children.

Birth Parents’ Will

  • Legal Rights

Birth parents don’t lose their right to include their adopted child in their will after adoption. However, the scope to which they can do so differs depending on the jurisdiction and the specific adoption arrangement.

  • Openness in Adoption

In open adoptions, birth parents may maintain contact with their adopted child and adoptive family. In such cases, birth parents may leave assets or gifts to the adopted child in their will. Communicating openly with the adoptive family is essential to avoid potential conflicts or misunderstandings.

  • Legal Consultation

Birth parents considering including their adopted child in their will should seek legal counsel to understand the legal implications and limitations based on their specific adoption agreement and the laws of their jurisdiction. Legal experts can guide you on how to navigate these complex matters.

  • Emotional Considerations

Including an adopted child in a birth parent’s will is an emotionally charged situation. Birth parents should carefully consider their motivations and the potential impact on the adopted child and the adoptive family. 


Incorporating adopted children into wills, whether in adoptive family or birth parents’ wills, requires careful thought, legal awareness, and clear communication. The legal recognition of adopted children’s rights varies, and adhering to local laws and adoptive agreements is crucial. Careful planning and consideration can help create a harmonious and legally sound legacy for the entire family, including adopted children.