TN 26 (12-98)

GN 00306.215 Adoption by Estoppel

A. Policy — Adoption Proceedings Invalid

Where adoption proceedings were defective and invalid under State law, some States grant inheritance rights to the child under a theory of estoppel. The child's foster parents and their heirs may be barred from asserting the adoption proceeding was invalid. Submit the question to the RCC per GN 01010.815 ff. in the absence of a precedent opinion.

B. Policy — No Contract

When there is no valid contract to adopt (either express or implied), some States will grant the child inheritance rights as an adopted child under a theory of estoppel. The foster parents and their heirs are barred from denying that the child's performance was pursuant to a valid contract to adopt or that the child is an adopted child.

Submit the question to the RCC per GN 01010.815 ff. in the absence of a precedent opinion if:

  • All the elements for equitable adoption are present except for a contract to adopt, and

  • The applicable State is not Alabama, Iowa, Ohio, South Dakota, Tennessee, or Texas. These States require a valid contract and/or only apply the doctrine of estoppel when a statutory adoption proceeding was instituted but was defective.

C. Policy — Dependency

The dependency test for a child who is adopted by estoppel is the same as for an equitably adopted child. See GN 00306.175B.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200306215
GN 00306.215 - Adoption by Estoppel - 03/09/2006
Batch run: 01/27/2009
Rev:03/09/2006