2017 Wisconsin Statutes & Annotations
Chapter 48. Children's code.
48.92 Effect of adoption.

Universal Citation: WI Stat § 48.92 (2017)

48.92 Effect of adoption.

(1) After the order of adoption is entered the relation of parent and child and all the rights, duties and other legal consequences of the natural relation of child and parent thereafter exists between the adopted person and the adoptive parents.

(2) After the order of adoption is entered the relationship of parent and child between the adopted person and the adopted person's birth parents and the relationship between the adopted person and all persons whose relationship to the adopted person is derived through those birth parents shall be completely altered and all the rights, duties, and other legal consequences of those relationships shall cease to exist, unless the birth parent is the spouse of the adoptive parent, in which case those relationships shall be completely altered and those rights, duties, and other legal consequences shall cease to exist only with respect to the birth parent who is not the spouse of the adoptive parent and all persons whose relationship to the adopted person is derived through that birth parent. Notwithstanding the extinction of all parental rights under this subsection, a court may order reasonable visitation under s. 48.925.

(3) Rights of inheritance by, from and through an adopted child are governed by ss. 854.20 and 854.21.

(4) Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate the right of the department to make payments to adoptive families under s. 48.48 (12).

History: 1973 c. 90; 1981 c. 359 s. 16; 1991 a. 191, 316; 1997 a. 35, 188; 2005 a. 232.

A valid adoption of the petitioner by his aunt would preclude his right to inherit as the son of his natural mother, although he would be entitled to inherit as a nephew. Estate of Komarr, 68 Wis. 2d 473, 228 N.W.2d 681 (1975).

Biological grandparents had no right to visitation following termination of their son's parental rights and adoption by the child's stepfather. In re Marriage of Soergel, 154 Wis. 2d 564, 453 N.W.2d 624 (1990).

Adoption of the child of a deceased parent does not terminate the decedent's parents' grandparental visitation rights under s. 880.155 [now s. 54.56]. Grandparental Visitation of C.G.F., 168 Wis. 2d 62, 483 N.W.2d 803 (1992).

Except in the case of stepparent adoption, the parental rights of both birth parents are terminated, effectively preventing a birth parent's nonmarital partner from adopting the birth parent's child. This provision does not violate the constitutional rights of either the child or nonmarital partner. Interest of Angel Lace M. 184 Wis. 2d 492, 516 N.W.2d 678 (1994).

Adoption proceedings confer all parental rights on the adoptive parents and therefore resolve all issues relating to the biological grandparents' rights to assert claims for custody and guardianship. Following adoption, a change requires a showing of unfitness in the adoptive parents. Elgin and Carol W. v. DHFS, 221 Wis. 2d 36, 584 N.W.2d 195 (Ct. App. 1998), 97-3595.

Sub. (2) does not nullify prior support arrearage obligations for which a natural parent became liable before that parent's parental rights were terminated. Hernandez v. Allen, 2005 WI App 247, 288 Wis. 2d 111, 707 N.W.2d 557, 04-2696.

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