First off, anytime a child passes on before his or her parent it is very sad. In this tragic situation described above, the issue is whether the biological parent or the adoptive parents inherits the child’s property. In the rare case of a child prodigy, this type of situation can at times get very ugly to say the least.
The way the law resolves this situation is by clearly establishing that adoption ends the natural parents’ ability to inherit intestate from the adoptee. Just to be clear, “intestate” means to pass on without a will. Still with me? So, adoption creates a parent-child relationship between the child and the adoptive parents that is, for purposes of the law, the same as that of a biological child. This includes inheritance.
In contrast, the relationship, in a legal context, between the natural parents and the child is severed. As a result of this severance, if an adopted child passes on without a will, his adoptive parents (or the relatives of the adoptive parents) inherit the child’s estate; while the child’s biological parents inherit nothing.