In 1933 the appellants adopted the child of the appellees, and the decree declaring them to be the adoptive parents concluded with the words, "With leave to parents to occasionally see the child." The natural parents, who were living apart, filed several petitions in the court to see the child at stated intervals. These petitions were granted. The adoptive parents, in 1936, filed a petition alleging that the repeated visits of the natural father and mother were prejudicially affecting the child's nervous condition, and impairing his health, and praying that the provision under the decree be altered. Upon submission of testimony the chancellor refused to grant the petition modifying the decree, but ordered that the natural mother be given the right to have the child with her between stated hours one day each month. On appeal from this order, it was held that the original adoption decree should be altered as asked by the petitioner, for the exclusive right to custody of the child was in the adoptive parents. In describing the effect of the decree of adoption, the court stated, "the adopted child is endowed with the status of a natural child of the adoptive parent. An infant who has been adopted, as in the case at bar, by a husband and wife, becomes the child of both adopting parents. . . . The adoptive parents were substituted for the infant's natural parents with all their rights, duties, and obligations." Spencer v. Franks, (Md. 1937) 195 A. 306 (quotation at p. 310).
Marcus L. Plant,
PARENT AND CHILD - EFFECT OF ADOPTION ON LEGAL STATUS OF CHILD,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol36/iss8/21