‘Yellowstone’ TV: Is Kevin Costner’s John Dutton Going to Legally Adopt Rip?

by Halle Ames

Is Yellowstone’s John Dutton going to legally adopt Rip Wheeler? The possibilities are endless at this point.

Rip Wheeler found himself on the Dutton ranch after his abusive father killed his younger brother and mother. He suffered the same fate when Rip, who was just a teenager, beat him to death with a frying pan.

After Rip killed his father, he fled, afraid that he would be in trouble for the brutal killing. Police called John Dutton when they located the young, dirty boy in a barn. John understands Rip’s fear and asks him if he would like to live at the Yellowstone ranch and work for him. He agrees.

John Dutton never adopted Rip, but he treated him as though he were his son. In fact, he arguably liked Rip more than his own children most of the time.

Rip goes on to fall in love with John’s only daughter, and the two plan to get married. That is if she lives to see season four or did the bomb finally take down the infamous Beth Dutton.

Some fans speculate that John Dutton will adopt Rip if Beth does perish, however.

“I finally started watching the show a few weeks ago,” said Vendetta2112. “I just finished. Fortunately, nobody ever told me how the third season ended! So I didn’t know, in fact, I read an interview with Kevin Costner, and he never intimated anything, so it came as a complete surprise! Who else is completely shocked at how that ended? Maybe John and Kasey are ok, but Beth???? Rip is going to go freaking ballistic!!! If Beth is gone, and common sense would have to admit it, then I predict that John will legally make Rip his son, by adoption.”

Why John Dutton Won’t Adopt Rip

Here is why we do not think there is even the slightest possibility that this will happen.

First of all, Rip is a grown man. If John Dutton were going to adopt him, it would have been when he was still a kid.

Secondly, why would John adopt the person who was supposed to marry his daughter? We get that John wants to stay close to him, but adoption seems a little extreme.

Third, they already took in a charity case in the situation with Jamie, and that came back to bite John in the bum.

And finally, when Rip Wheeler ran away from the crime at his childhood home, the police reported him as missing, and he “was never found.” So, when Beth and Rip decide to get married, they cannot do it legally because Rip doesn’t exist anymore.

Therefore, how can you adopt someone who doesn’t exist? You cannot.

We are curious how John Dutton and Rip deal with things if the worst-case scenario does happen. Yellowstone season four will premiere in June.