John and Christine Svenningsen adopted a baby Chinese girl in 1996. They
already had four children, and another one to come, besides their adopted
girl. John Svenningsen, was a wealthy businessman at the time. He was
also diagnosed with cancer around the time they adopted. They signed a
contract stating that they would not "transfer or have re-adopted."
The contract also stated that the adopted girl inheritance rights. A year
later, John died.
Six and a half years after John's death, the adopted girl was brought
to a special needs boarding school. A year later, on December 16, 2004,
the adopted girl was voluntarily surrendered to Spence-Chapin Services
to Families and Children. On May 18, 2006, the girl was again adopted
by another family.
The adopted girl's attorneys sued. The family's lawyer's attempted
to defend the litigation because there was already a trust fund established
for her by the Svenningsen a long time ago, which totaled $842,397. The
courts recently ruled that even though the girl was re-adopted, she is
still legally entitled to her portion of the estate. The estate is worth
about $250 million dollars.
family law contratcs, such as adoption agreement, are enforceable and valid. Experienced
lawyers should always be consulted before entering a contract.