Duhaime's Law Dictionary

Step-Child Definition:


Related Terms: Step-Parent, In Loco Parentis

In a 1953 case, R. v Groening, Justice Montague used these words;

"A step-son (is) a son, by a former marriage, of one's husband or wife....

"[A] step-child must be the issue of a former marriage of one's husband or wife."

In Re Smith's Estate, Justice Schwellenbach of the Supreme Court of Washington noted that:

"At common law, the relationship of stepparent and stepchild conferred no rights and imposed no duties.... The rule of the feudal law excluded from the inheritance descendants who were of the half blood. The rule never found favor in this country (USA).

"As between a stepchild and a stepparent there is no blood relationship, but only that designated as affinity, the relationship which one spouse, because of marriage, has to blood relatives of the other."


  • In re Smith's Estate, 299 P. 2d 550 (1956)
  • R v Groenberg, 107 CCC 234 (Manitoba Court of Appeal)

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