TN 27 (12-00)

GN 00306.225 State Laws on Equitable Adoption

A. Policy — General

1. States Not Recognizing Equitable Adoption

  1. The following States do not permit a child to acquire rights under the theory of equitable adoption, even if the contract to adopt was made in another State and was valid in that State.

    • Arkansas (Based on a change of position for claims filed on or after 09/28/05 or pending on that date, Arkansas has not recognized equitable adoption since at least 1984)

    • Indiana

    • Kentucky

    • Louisiana

    • Mississippi

    • Puerto Rico

    • Tennessee

    • Virginia

    • Washington

    • Wisconsin

    Submit to the RCC under GN 01010.815 ff. if Arkansas law prior to 1984 is involved.

  2. The following States do not permit a child to acquire such rights under the theory of equitable adoption if the contract to adopt was entered into in that State. However, such contracts made in another State will be enforced if valid and enforceable in that State.

    • Ohio

    • Oregon

2. Submittal to RCC

Submit to the RCC under GN 01010.815 ff. if the law of Guam or the U.S. Virgin Islands is involved.

3. Waiting Period or Investigation

If the trial and/or waiting period may be waived according to the chart in GN 00306.225B., assume that it would be waived. Where an investigation is required, assume that it could be completed in one day in the absence of a statutory period.

B. Policy — Chart

This chart shows the State laws concerning equitable adoption.

State

Oral Agreement Acceptable

Agreement to Adopt May be Implied

Giving of Inheritance Rights Required

Trial or Waiting Period Requirement

Waiting Period May Be Waived

Alabama

Yes

Yes

Yes1

Before 9/15/61, 1 year. After 9/14/61, 6 mos.

No1

Alaska

Yes

Yes

No

None

 

American Samoa

Yes

Yes

No

None

 

Arizona

Yes

Yes

No

6 mos.(1 yr. before 6/20/68)

No

California

Yes

Yes

No

None

 

Colorado

Yes

Yes

No

30 days2

No

Connecticut

Yes

Yes

No

1 yr.

Yes

Delaware

Yes

Yes

No

1 yr.

Yes3

District of Columbia

Yes

Yes

No

6 mos.

No

Florida

Yes

Yes

No

Before 5/20/55, 60 days. After 5/19/55, 90 days.

Yes4

Georgia

Yes

Yes

No

From 5/1/66, 90 days. From 1/1/41-4/30/66, 8
1/2 mos.

No

Hawaii

Yes

Yes

No

Up to 6 mos.

Yes

Idaho

Yes

Yes

No

None

 

Illinois

Yes

No13

No

6 mos.

Yes

Iowa

Yes

Yes

No

180 days

Yes

Kansas

Yes

Yes

No

Before 6/30/51, 7 mos. After 6/29/51, 30 days.

No

Maine

Yes

Yes

No

1 yr.

Yes

Maryland

Yes

Yes

No

30 days

No

Massachusetts

Yes

Yes

No

1 yr. residence

Yes

Michigan

Yes

Yes

No

1 yr.

Yes

Minnesota

Yes

Yes

No

6 mos.

Yes

Missouri

Yes

Yes

No

Before 7/7/97, 9 mos. custody.

After 7/6/97, 6 mos.5 legal and actual custody.

Yes

Montana

Yes

Yes

No

Before 7/1/75, none. After 6/30/57, 6 mos.

Yes

Nebraska

Yes

Yes

No

6 mos. residence

No

Nevada

Yes

Yes

No

Before 4/6/61, none. After
4/5/61, 6 mos.

No

New Hampshire

Yes

Yes

No

1 yr.

Yes

New Jersey

Yes

Yes

No

1 yr.

Up to 6 mos.

New Mexico

No

Yes

No

6 mos.6

No

New York

Yes

Yes

No

Before 6/22/99, 6 mos.

On or after
6/22/99,
3 mos.

Yes

North Carolina

No

Yes

Yes

1 yr.7

Yes8

North Dakota

Yes

Yes

No

6 mos.

Yes

Oklahoma

Yes

No

No

6 mos.9

Yes

Pennsylvania

No10

No

Yes11

6 mos.12

No

Rhode Island

Yes

Yes

No

6 mos.

Yes

South Carolina

Yes

No

Yes

None

 

South Dakota

Yes

Yes

No

6 mos.

No

Texas

Yes

Yes

No

6mos.

Yes

Utah

Yes

Yes

No

1 yr. residence

No

Vermont

Yes

Yes

No

Before 7/1/59, 1 yr. After 6/30/59, 6 mos.

Yes

West Virginia

Yes

Yes

No

6 mos.

No

Wyoming

No

Yes

No

6 mos. residence

No

1 May be waived in cases of adoption by stepparent and also, after 9/14/61, in cases of adoption by grandparent, brother, sister, aunt, uncle (singly or with their spouses) if child lived with adopter for 1 year.

2 Before 7/1/59, no waiting period required if child is grandchild or stepchild, nor if placed by a duly licensed agency, State home for dependent children, or public welfare department. After 6/30/59, no waiting required if petitioner is relative or stepparent.

3 After 6/30/52, only 6 months of waiting period may be waived.

4 After 5/19/55, may be waived if adoption is by stepparent, or relative by blood or marriage.

5May be waived in situations in which the child at issue has been under the “prior and continuing” jurisdiction of the juvenile court and the individual(s) seeking to adopt the child is the foster parent(s).

6 Adoption may not be entered until a child attains one year of age. This requirement may not be waived.

7 However, court may shorten period by the length of time child has resided in home of petitioner prior to granting of interlocutory decree, provided child was placed in petitioner's home by superintendent of public welfare or licensed child-placing agency, but no final order may be entered until child has resided in petitioner's home for a period of one year.

8 Period may be waived by court if conditions set forth in GN 00306.160 for waiver or interlocutory decree are met or shortened.

9 There is no trial or waiting period for decree before 8/28/57.

10 Change of position effective 8/30/84.

11 Promise of inheritance rights may be expressed or implied from adoption agreement.

12 Ten days if prospective adoptee related by blood or marriage to prospective adopter.

13 Circumstantial evidence may be relied upon to establish the existence and terms of an oral contract to adopt, but an agreement will not be implied based solely on facts, circumstances, and conduct.


To Link to this section - Use this URL:
http://policy.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0200306225
GN 00306.225 - State Laws on Equitable Adoption - 05/30/2012
Batch run: 05/30/2012
Rev:05/30/2012