Can You Inherit From Both Adoptive and Biological Parents?

Kayleigh Dale - March 24, 2022

Who can you inherit from? 

Generally speaking, a person will inherit from their parents and blood relatives, based on the laws of Intestate Succession, unless there is a Will, in which case the beneficiaries will inherit in terms of the provisions of the Will. Given that an adopted child is the blood relative of their biological parents, would the adopted child be entitled to inherit from them? 

If adopted, are you still a member of your biological family?

When a child is adopted, they are actually regarded as being born from their adoptive parents, and are no longer considered to be the child of their biological parents, or even any previous adoptive parents. 

Who can an adopted child inherit from? 

As stated, an adoptive child is deemed to be a descendant of their adoptive parents and the adoptive parent’s blood relatives. Therefore, an adoptive child can only inherit intestate (meaning where there is no Will) from their adoptive parents and the adoptive parent’s blood relatives. They have no claim to inheritance from their natural parents and their natural parents’ blood relatives. 

When can I inherit from both my adoptive parents and biological parents?

While it is a technical point, there are three scenarios where an adoptive child can inherit from a natural parent, namely:

  • the natural parent is also their adoptive parent;
  • at the time of the adoption, the said parent was married to the adoptive parent; or
  • The natural parents bequeathed assets to the child in terms of a Will.
Kayleigh Dale

Kayleigh Dale

Associate Attorney


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