Thursday, July 17, 2008

Adoption Designed to Qualify Adoptee as Heir -- Annulled

As reported in the N.Y. Times, an adoption designed to result in the adoptee qualifying as an heir to the I.B.M fortune was thrown out.  The Times reported:

"The adoption of a woman by her lesbian partner 17 years ago in Maine has been annulled, and the woman has filed an appeal in the State Supreme Court, according to recently unsealed documents. The case involves Olive F. Watson, 60, the granddaughter of the founder of I.B.M. and the daughter of Thomas J. Watson Jr., the company’s longtime chief executive. In 1991, Ms. Watson adopted Patricia Ann Spado, now 60, in Maine, where the women spent several weeks each summer at the Watson compound on the island of North Haven. The purpose of the adoption, Ms. Spado said in court documents, was to allow her to qualify as an heir to Ms. Watson’s fortune. A year after the adoption, the women broke up. Now, with both of Ms. Watson’s parents dead, Ms. Spado is seeking to qualify as Mr. Watson’s 19th grandchild and a beneficiary of his trusts. The Watson family, including Olive, is fighting Ms. Spado’s claim. In April, the probate judge who granted the adoption annulled it on the grounds that the women did not meet residency requirements. Ms. Spado’s lawyers filed an appeal on July 2."

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