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 OGC 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,
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.