This note discusses the evolution of the tort of wrongful adoption. At first, state courts would only allow adoptive parents to recover for wrongful adoption if they could prove that the adoption agency's conduct constituted fraud, a common law tort that requires the adoption agency's conduct to be intentional. In time, public policy interests, such as the need for adoptive parents to be emotionally and financially prepared to raise a special needs child, persuaded state courts to allow adoptive parents to recover under the less stringent tort of negligence. As opposed to fraud, a showing of negligence does not require that the adoption agency know its representations are untrue, but merely requires that the adoption agency's conduct in regard to the truth be unreasonable.
Beyond Wrongful Adoption: Expanding Adoption Agency Liability to Include a Duty to Investigate and a Duty to Warn, 29 Golden Gate U. L. Rev.