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.
Clearly, family law contratcs, such as adoption agreement, are enforceable and valid. Experienced lawyers should always be consulted before entering a contract.