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Estates (Law)


This Article tracks the evolution of inheritance law for adopted children and suggests that courts use construction approaches that worked in the context of a new understanding of the parent-child relationship as a guide to construing wills in the context of changing social and legal definitions of the martial relationship. In this regard, Part II offers a brief overview of pertinent construction doctrines. Next, Part III summarizes the history of inheritance law for adopted children. Finally, Part IV draws an analogy between the stranger-to-the-adoption doctrine and an approach to inheritance law for same-sex spouses that this Essay calls the "stranger-to-the-marriage" doctrine and posits that the stranger-to-the-adoption doctrine provides insight by this analogy. Finally, Part V concludes.