Case Brief on Adoption Case

Satisfactory Essays
To: Dr. Lora C. Clark

From: Nicole D'Occhio

Date: October 31, 2013

RE: Mary Jo Parker Adoption

Facts: Mary Jo was born to her biological mother Martha Spinks. Martha had been battling a tough drug addiction, and when Mary Jo was just four years old, Martha was sent to prison. The Spinks' neighbors, Stephen and Melinda Parker had decided to adopt Mary Jo and would raise her. Upon moving in with the Parkers, Mary Jo took their last name, and was now Mary Jo Parker. Mary Jo was the oldest of the Parker's children, they later had 2 biological children. Throughout her life, Mary Jo was enrolled in school as the Parker's child, and changed the name on her Social Security Card as Mary Jo Parker. She resided with the Parkers from age four, until eighteen when she moved away to college. The Spinks took it upon themselves to pay for Mary Jo's education. Throughout her entire life the Spinks referred to Mary Jo as one of their three children and Mary Jo referred to them as her parents and referred to their other two children as her siblings. In 2005, Stephen Park became ill. Mary Jo was never formally/legally adopted by Mr. and Mrs. Spinks. In 2007 Mr. Parker died. When he died he left his entire estate to his wife. In his obituary, it was stated that he had three children. In 2013, Melinda died without a will. Her other two children feel that they are entitled to half of her estate. Mary Jo Spinks is seeking her rights to the estate of Melinda Parker regarding her will.

Issue: Does a child who was never officially adopted by a family have rights to the will of their adopted parents?

Brief Answer: Yes, the adopted child is entitled to the same rights as the biological children.

Rule of Law: N.C. Gen. Stat ァ 48-1-38

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