Law Reform Commission of Western Australia
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Project 24 - Succession rights of adopted children

Project No. 24

Commenced: 1971
Withdrawn: 1971

At the time of the reference, the law in respect to rights of adopted children upon intestacy differentiated between their rights in respect to the family of their adoptive and natural parents. Specifically, it preserved their full rights of succession in relation to the relatives of their natural parents but acknowledged no such rights in relation to their adoptive parents.

Terms of Reference

In 1971 the Committee was asked to consider if it was desirable to alter the law in respect to the succession rights of adopted children.


The Adoption of Children Act 1896 (WA) was amended by the Adoption of Children Amendment Act 1971 (WA) which equalised the position of natural and adopted children in respect to succession rights upon intestacy. The Adoption Act 1994 (WA) later repealed the Act but carried through the reform by the stipulation in s 75 that the relationship between the adoptee and their adoptive parent is to be that of 'child' and 'parent'. Together with legislative changes to the Property Law Act 1969 (WA), these amendments implemented the Committee’s recommendations.

Last updated: 31-Jan-2017

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