Adoptive Admission Law and Legal Definition

Adoptive admission means an act or declaration by a party indicating the approval of statement made by the other. Adoptive admission infers the acceptance of the truth of the act or declaration made by the other party.

In order to constitute an adoptive admission the following conditions must be satisfied:

(1)that statement was made to the defendant or made in his/ her presence;

(2)that the defendant heard and understood the statement;

(3)that the he defendant would, under all the circumstances, naturally have denied the statement if he/she thought it was not true; and

(4)that the defendant could have denied it but did not.

In People v. Zavala, 168 Cal. App. 4th 772 (Cal. Ct. App. 2008),the court observed that “for the adoptive admission exception to the hearsay rule to apply, direct accusation in so many words is not essential. To warrant admissibility, it is sufficient that the evidence supports a reasonable inference that an accusatory statement was made under circumstances affording a fair opportunity to deny the accusation; whether the defendant's conduct actually constituted an adoptive admission becomes a question for the jury to decide”.