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See Adoption (equitable) and also Equitable adoption. Adoption by estoppel involves cases of an unperformed agreement to adopt. The stepchild is allowed to inherit from the foster parent just as though the child had been adopted. The foster parents and their natural kin are estopped to deny that an adoption took place. Only those claiming through the foster parent are estopped. In addition, the doctrine only works against the foster parents.

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