Document Type



Part I of this Article examines the doctrine of equitable adoption, focusing on its deficiencies in addressing some of the issues of the modern family. Part II considers the specific issue of intestate succession, the way that the equitable adoption doctrine falls short in providing a consistent rational result of heirship in the modern family, and the reasons for expanding inheritance rights to “family members” claiming an intestate share despite the fact that they were not born into or legally adopted into the family arrangement. Part III proposes answers to these difficult problems, suggesting a statutory provision defining “child,” for inheritance purposes, to include children raised in families that are not their families of birth, but avoiding denominating this relationship as one of “adoption”--carrying with it a suggestion of a legal sanction which these relationships lack.