Equitable-Parent Doctrine Law and Legal Definition

The Equitable Parent Doctrine was established to grant child custody to an adult, when the adult was not a biological relative of the child. According to this principle an adult who is not the biological parent of a child born or conceived during the marriage may, in a divorce action, be considered the child's natural father or mother if:

(1) the other spouse and the child both acknowledge a parent–child relationship.


the non biologically related spouse wants parental rights, and


the person is willing to take on the responsibility of paying support.

However this doctrine is applicable only to very few jurisdictions in the U.S.