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Adoptions Don't Work
March 2, 2007 permalink
When an adoption is finalized, most jurisdictions issue a phony birth certificate to the adoptee, listing the adoptive parents as mother and father. These birth certificates are useless when it comes to protecting the child from inherited genetic diseases. Another problem is that the phony birth certificates are not recognized for citizenship purposes, allowing an adult to unexpectedly become an illegal alien in his own country — we reported on the case of Ruth Shaw. Here is a third problem — inheritance. Olive Watson was the daughter of IBM magnate Thomas J Watson Jr (1914-1993). To ensure her lesbian lover Patricia Spado shared in her inheritance she adopted Spado as her daughter in 1991. The death of Watson's wife in 2004 activated a provision in the will dividing his estate among his grandchildren. The Watson family does not want Spado to get a share, and is challenging the adoption.
So adopted children can be cut out of their health, citizenship and inheritance. Once adopted children reach the age of majority, they are in practice orphans again.
IBM heirs battle 'my mother is my girlfriend' cash claim
Big Blues see red over pink adoption
By Chris Williams, Published Thursday 1st March 2007 00:54 GMT
A lesbian woman who had a long term relationship with one of the daughters of IBM president Thomas J. Watson Jr is fighting for her right to a share of his legacy.
Patricia Spado lived with Olive Watson for more than 10 years until they separated in 1992. Watson adopted Spado under Maine law in 1991. At 44 years old, Spado was one year her senior.
The unusual arrangement was designed to circumvent anti-gay marriage laws and allow Spado to become a legal heir to the trust fund Thomas Watson Jr set up for his grandkiddies, bringing the total number of beneficiaries to 19.
When the couple separated, Olive Watson signed an agreement with her ex stating: "I have not and that I shall at no time initiate any action to revoke or annul my adoption of you."
However, Thomas J. Watson's 18 grandchildren are arguing that the fund, which was opened on his death in 1993, was aimed at blood relatives and that he had no knowledge of the adoption.
Fund chief Thomas J. Watson III successfully challenged the legality of the adoption in Connecticut, where his father died. Spado is appealing that decision, and is fighting another attempt by the trust to have the adoption annulled in Maine.
If Spado is denied the millions, she could do worse than get a job at IBM, which earlier this year topped a poll of the most fabulous places for gay people to work. ®
Source: the Register (UK)
Addendum: Later reports indicate that the case was ultimately settled out of court.