Adoption by Estoppel in Texas

Robert Ray

Adoption by Estoppel in Texas

Adoption by Estoppel

Texas recognizes adoption by estoppel, which is a form of informal adoptions. An informal adoption is similar to a common-law marriage in that no formal legal proceedings are involved. An inheritance lawyer is going to walk you through what it is.

Defining Adoption by Estoppel

These adoptions may be called adoption by estoppelequitable adoption, or adoption status by the courts discussing them. The courts treat these as contract cases in that once the facts are established, the heirs of the adopting parent are estopped from denying the adopted child his inheritance rights.

The courts look for an enforceable agreement between the adopting parent and the adopted child, his parents, or another person in loco parentis with the child. The adopting parent agrees to adopt the adopted child then confers affection and benefits upon them, and the person who agreed with the adopting parent relies upon the adopted status. These informal adoptions are important where the adopting parent dies without a will. If the adopting parent leaves a will, he can leave his property to anyone he chooses. He can leave property to the adopted child or not. However, if he dies intestate (without a will), the child adopted by estoppel will inherit a share of this adoptive parent’s estate the same as any other child. 906 – 576.

Adoption by Estoppel – proof in court

Courts apply the doctrine regularly when, “because of the promises, acts, and conduct of an intestate deceased, those claiming under and through him are estopped to assert that a child was not legally adopted or did not occupy the status of an adopted child.” The doctrine of equitable adoption (adoption by estoppel) is not “the same as legal adoption” and does not contain “all of the legal consequences of a statutory adoption.” Rather, it merely protects an adopted “child’s right to inherit by adoption” as if the adoption had been legally completed. The Texas Estates Code recognizes the doctrine, defining “child” as including a person adopted by “acts of estoppel.” § 22.004.

UPDATES

There are new cases all the time that clarify or change the law on inheritance disputes. Keep up-to-date by subscribing to our blog.

'

Subscribe

Recent Posts

No Forced Heirship In Texas

No Forced Heirship In Texas

Forced Heirship in Texas? Forced heirship is a concept that provides that all of your children have a right to a portion of your estate upon your death. In other words, each of your children must get part of your estate. There are limited circumstances under which a...

Inheritance Rights of Illegitimate Children

Inheritance Rights of Illegitimate Children

Do Illegitimate Children Inherit in Texas Yes, Illegitimate children inherit in Texas. The problem is proving paternity. If paternity is acknowledged or proved, they inherit. Historical Background In Texas, until 1991, illegitimate children did not inherit from their...

Podcast – What are pretermitted children?

Podcast – What are pretermitted children?

Podcast added! The topic is "Pretermitted Children" A pretermitted child is a forgotten child who takes a part of their parents’ estate even if not mentioned in the will. This discussion only applies where the parent dies testate, meaning the parent left a will. If...

Inheritance Rights of Illegitimate Children.

Do Illegitimate Children Inherit in Texas Yes, Illegitimate children inherit in Texas. The problem is proving paternity. If paternity is acknowledged or proved, they inherit. Historical Background In Texas, until 1991, illegitimate children did not inherit from their...

Children – natural born, adopted or adopted by estoppel in Texas

For the purpose of inheritance, there are natural children, adopted children, children adopted by estoppel, also called equitable adoption and illegitimate children. What do these terms mean? Natural children are, of course, the children born to the parent. Adopted...

Learn if Adopted Children Inherit From Their Biological Parents

In Texas, when a child is adopted, he becomes the child of his adoptive parents. He inherits from and through them. That means that the adopted child will inherit from the ancestors of the parent who adopted him as well as from the parent. There is no difference based...

The Author

Robert Ray

Robert Ray handles inheritance disputes of all kinds. He takes cases throughout Texas.
© Copyright 2022 | All Rights Reserved.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This