Third District Court of Appeal Senior Judge Alan R. Schwartz wrote that the adoption of a "paramour" or lover has no purpose and cannot be confirmed by a court.
Forty-nine-year-old John Goodman founded the International Polo Club in Palm Beach. Last year he was sentenced to 16 years in prison for a fatal drunken-driving crash.
A lawyer for the crash victim's family says Goodman's 2011 adoption of 42-year-old Heather Laruso Hutchins would shield his fortune. Goodman's attorneys said he wouldn't benefit from the adoption of his girlfriend of four years.
The appellate court also ruled Goodman committed fraud by not giving enough notice of the adoption to the mother of his children.
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