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equitable adoption n
: an adoption recognized by the law in order to allow claims (as to assets in an estate or to insurance or government benefits) in cases in which there is an express or implied contract to adopt and clear evidence of an intention to adopt but no performance of the procedures required by statute for an adoption called also adoption by estoppel
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.