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TKenney, Ph.D.
TKenney, Ph.D., French Attorney (Avocat à la Cour)
Category: French Law
Satisfied Customers: 831
Experience:  Practicing law in France, 10+ years of experience on Paris Bar. Taught French Business Law in US
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My wife and I are British nationals resident in Franch. I am

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My wife and I are British nationals resident in Franch. I am considering whether to adopt my English adult step-children (my wife's blood-children) in order to ensure that they may inherit my estate under French law; I have read Dr Kenney's comment on this dated 7/5/2011, from which it is clear that these step-children qualify for "simple adoption". They ask whether being adopted could have any unforeseen consequences which they might not like.

TKenney, Ph.D. :

Hello, Thank you for your question, This is Dr. Kenney.

TKenney, Ph.D. :

In order for me (or any lawyer, solicitor, or barrister) to counsel someone and inform him/her of any unforeseen consequences which they might not like, I would need to see him/her (in person or on the phone), see all his/her documents, see all his/her evidence, get all the facts, understand the whole situation, ask a lot of questions, and establish a formal attorney client relation. In fact, the Just Answer disclaimer clearly states the following: "Posts are for general information, and are not intended to substitute for informed professional advice (medical, legal, veterinary, financial, etc.), and do not establish a professional-client relationship." No attorney client relationship has been formed.

TKenney, Ph.D. :

Please understand that it is against the JustAnswer policy to advise customers on this website. While I am indeed a French lawyer in Paris, on this website, I am just a French law expert answering questions on French law and on my free time. I did not advise you, I just answered your question in accordance to what you can do under French law.

TKenney, Ph.D. :

What you are asking (whether being adopted could have any unforeseen consequences which they might not like) is out of the scope of a French law expert. Only an avocat having access to all the details of their case could provide you with more personalized counsel in this matter.

TKenney, Ph.D. :

I do not know what your step-children like and what they do not like. I do not know what they already know or what they do not know. I do not know anything about your step-chidren to be able to answer your question. Also, the expression "unforeseen consequences" means consequences that are unforeseen. It is impossible to predict unforeseen consequences, otherwise, they would not be "unforeseen." I am more than willing to answer any of your questions on French law. This site allows for a general response that will help you with your legal issue.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I think that rather than write several rhetorical paragraphs syaing why my question was stupid (which it was) you should have invited me to refine it into a form which you might be able to answer more usefully. I now do so:


Would being adopted in France impose on my step-children any obligations, responsibilities or charges vis-a-vis the French state which they did not have before?


If you can reply usefully to this I will happily upgrade the rating that I have given you.


Nick XXXXX (also XXXX.)

Do you think that it is fair that you rated my correct answer as “poor service” because your initial question was not what you wanted it to be? How was I to know that your initial question was not what you wanted to ask? I should not be penalized for your question not having been worded the way you wanted it. I answered your question.

In cases like yours, most of the time the customer rewords/refines his/her question without rating my answer or they rate me good service because the answer was correct. After they get their new question right, then they rate me Excellent service or rate me positively a second time. You never gave me that chance. This is a chat and you quickly rated me « poor service », and I obviously do not agree with you. It also appears to me that you gave me a “poor service” rating because I am not a fortune teller and because I can not read your mind.

Before I happily answer your question, can you please alter your rating because it is classed as negative, which means it affects my feedback rating and I receive absolutely no credit for helping you.

Also, before I happily answer your new question, can you please explain to me what your definition of “reply usefully” is? Is “reply usefully” the same as a “useful reply”? I need more information about your imposed condition to upgrading me. Is a correct answer according to French law that you do not agree with also “replying usefully” or a useful reply?? Is a correct answer according to French law that you do not like also “replying usefully” or a useful reply?? Is a correct answer according to French law confirming what you already knew also “replying usefully” or a useful reply??

These are not rhetorical questions. They are important because I want to make sure that I get credit for the work I do for you.

Customer: replied 4 years ago.

I had to give you a rating of some kind because I was unable to send a reply to you without doing so, and I did not and still do not consider your first response satisfactory.


I would welcome a reply that addressed pertinently, informatively and accurately the re-phrased question that I asked, and if I receive that I will have no hesitation in giving you a positive rating. For 38 euros I would of course not expect your reply to be comprehensive or copious in matters of detail. I would consider useful something along the lines of "As far as I know the kids have nothing to worry about" or "I think that there could be issues here that it would be as well to explore." I would be surprised if nobody had asked this question before; there must be some precedent, surely.

Hello Nick,

Thank you for the explanation. Actually we were in a chat, and when we were in the chat you could have refined your question before rating me. Customers often do that. However, once you rated me, the chat was over and now you will have to rate me as you go along.

Your new question is “Would being adopted in France impose on my step-children any obligations, responsibilities or charges vis-a-vis the French state which they did not have before?

To address pertinently, informatively and accurately your new question, I am assuming that you know and fulfill all the requirements of a French “simple adoption.”

My answer:

Being adopted in France as a “simple adoption” imposes on your adult step-children (UK nationals) very few obligations and responsibilities vis-a-vis the French state. However as for the end part of your question (“which they did not have before”), I do not know what obligations they had before, so I can not say if these obligations vis-a-vis the French state are different from before.

The few obligations or responsibilities your adult UK national step children will have directly vis-a-vis the French state will be filing the French inheritance (estate/succession) tax documents and paying French inheritance taxes (or French late filing tax penalties) and your debts if applicable (including funeral services) or filing a formal refusal of the French inheritance (estate/succession) after your death. That’s just about all. Apart from what I just mentioned, your step children really have nothing to worry about. The French “simple adoption” is basically only about inheritance. That’s all.

(Bye the way, for your information, I received $ 22.93 USD (€ 17.6 euros) if you rate me positively. The rest goes to JUSTANSWER, even if you rate me negatively).

I am glad I was able to answer your question. Please don’t forget to provide a positive rating so I can get credit for the service I provided to you. If the answer was particularly helpful a BONUS is always appreciated too!

Best regards

Thank you!

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