An adult adoption
involving lesbian partners and a claim on one of
America's premier business fortunes has been annulled.
At issue is
whether it was legal for a judge in Maine to allow Olive
Watson to adopt Patricia Spado in 1991. Watson's father was
Thomas Watson, who built IBM into a computer giant.
Spado and Olive
Watson's relationship ended a year after the adoption.
Thomas Watson's heirs challenged the adoption in court in
The judge who
granted the adoption annulled it last spring on a residency
issue. Her ruling didn't come to light until appeal briefs
were filed with Maine's supreme court last week.
Spado and Watson
lived in New York but spent several weeks each summer on
an island in Maine's Penobscot Bay. (Jerry Harkavy, AP)