Do adopted children still receive an entitlement from their birth parent’s estate?

January 19, 2017 Stuart Clark Estate & Trust Tags: , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

I recently blogged about the about the fact that, generally speaking, an adopted child would have the same rights to take from a trust established in relation to their adoptive parents as would a biological child of their adoptive parents. While this may leave the dream of being adopted into a rich family alive for some, what impact, if any, does an adoption order have upon the adopted child’s rights vis-à-vis their birth parents’ estates? If an adopted child’s birth parent should die without a Will, or leave a bequest in their Will to their “children”, would the adopted child receive a benefit from their estate?

In Ontario, the legal status of adopted children is governed by the Child and Family Services Act (the “CFSA“). Section 158(2) of the CFSA provides that, for the purposes of law, upon an adoption order being granted the adopted child becomes the child of the adoptive parent and ceases to be the child of the person who was his or her parent before the adoption order was granted.

As a result of section 158(2) of the CFSA, and the clear provision that an adopted child ceases to be a “child” of their birth parent in the eyes of the law upon the adoption order being granted, an adopted child would no longer be a “child” of their birth parent in determining entitlement from the birth parent’s estate. The adopted child would no longer receive a benefit on an intestacy of their birth parent in accordance with Part II of the Succession Law Reform Act, nor be included with the class of “children” or “issue” in any bequest in their birth parent’s Will.

While an adopted child would not take as a “child” of their birth parent on an intestacy or in a bequest in their birth parent’s Will, this does not necessarily mean that an adopted child may never receive an entitlement from their birth parent’s estate. Should the birth parent of an adopted child wish to provide a bequest to such a child from their estate, they may specifically provide a bequest to such an adopted child in their Will. In providing such a bequest however, it is important that the adopted child be specifically referenced by name in the Will, as any general gift to the testator’s “children” would not catch the adopted child as a result of section 158(2) of the CFSA.

Thank you for reading.

Stuart Clark

Can you be adopted into a Trust?

Adult Adoptions

A Cautionary Tale: Prince Dies Intestate?


  1. I’m glad you talked about adopted children and their role in their parent’s estate planning. Recently, one of my cousins mentioned she’s interested in adopting a child. My cousin’s always wanted kids, but she can’t have them, and I think this information could interest her, so I’ll be sure to share it with her. Thanks for the advice on adoption and birth parents’ estate.

    • Hull & Hull LLP 6 months Reply

      Thank you for your comment, we’re glad you enjoy our content and we hope your cousin finds it interesting too!

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.



Hull e-State Planner is a comprehensive estate planning software designed to make the estate planning process simple, efficient and client friendly.

Try it here!




  • Read today's article about how British North America’s first known black lawyer saved @queensu from financial ruin.…
  • Hull on Estates #627 – What is the Role of the Office of the Public Guardian and Trustee? Listen to the most recen…
  • Today's article explores the motion to dismiss for delay in Nelson v. Rancourt, 2021 ONSC 4767. This case is about…
  • Clarifying the Rights of Individuals Related by Marriage and Half-Relations The December 2021 Solicitor Tip of the…
  • Increase of Living Inheritances in Light of an Unaffordable Housing Market Read today's article here:…
  • Changes to Probate Coming January 1, 2022 In last Wednesday's article @spopovic outlines the upcoming changes to…