If, as has been previously suggested, an infant's contract is valid until avoided, ratification does not, strictly speaking, create a right against the infant, but merely terminates the privilege which the law allows him of avoiding a bargain he made while under age.77a Ratification cannot be effectually made until after the infant has come of age.78 From that time, however, any manifestation by him of an intent to regard the bargain as binding will deprive him of his privilege.79 Therefore, if an infant after coming of age sells, uses, or even retains for an unreasonable time goods received by him during infancy under a contract, he cannot thereafter avoid the bargain.80
77a See supra, Sec. 204.
78 Northwestern Railway Co. v. M'Michsl, 5 Ex. 114; Banger v. Hib-hard, 104 Fed. 456, 456, 43 C. C. A. 635; Ex parte McFerren, 184 Ala. 223, 63 So. 150, 47 L. R, A. (N. S.) 643; Chandler v. Simmons, 97 Mass. 508, 510, 93 Am. Dec. 117; Stack v. Cavan-augh, 67 N. H, 149, 30 Atl. 360; Slater v. Trimble, 14 Ir. C. L. Rep. 342.
79See supra, Sec. 151. In Missouri in 1879, it was enacted that no ratification of an infant's promise should be binding unless it was in writing signed by the party to be charged thereby. Mo. Rev. St. 1879, J 2616. This statute in 1895 was superseded by the present statute which provides that " no action shall be maintained whereby to charge any person or any debt contracted during infancy, unless such person shall have ratified the same by some other act than a verbal promise to pay the same; and the following acts on the part of such person after he becomes of full age shall constitute a ratification of such debt; first, an acknowledgment of or promise to pay such a debt made in writing; second, a partial payment upon such debt; third, a disposal of part or all of the property for which such debt was contracted; fourth, a re-refusal to deliver property in his possession or under his control for which such debt was contracted, to the person to whom the debt is due, on demand thereof made in writing." Mo. Laws of 1896, p. 181, Rev. St. 1909, Sec. 2786. See Keener v. Wilkinson, 90 Mo. App. 510, 70 S. W. 609.
In Maine, by statute, contracts of an infant, except for necessaries or land, are unenforceable unless the infant after coming of age ratifies them in writing. Rev. St., e. 113, Sec.2. See Lamkin v. LeDoux, 101 Me. 581, 64 Atl. 1048, 8L.R.4. (N. S.) 104.
80 McCarthy v. Nicrosi, 72 Ala. 332, 47 Am. Rep. 418; Southern Cotton Oil Co. v. Dukes, 121 Ga. 787, 49 S. E. 788; Wickham v. Toriey, 136 Ga. 594, 71 S. E. 881, 36 L. R. A. (N. S.) 67; Bell v. Swainsboro Fertiliser Co., 12 Ga. App. 81, 76 S. E. 766; Fried p. Overland Motor Co., 202 EL
Still more clearly if the infant after attaining his majority receives performance in whole or in part from the other party to the contract, there is a ratification.81 There are numerous cases holding that in the case of real estate mere lapse of time short of the Statute of Limitations will not cut off the right to avoid a conveyance made during infancy in the absence of circumstances sufficient to raise an equitable estoppel.82 But the contrary decisions (also relating to land), requiring the infant to disaffirm within a reasonable time after he becomes of age state a rule sounder in theory and better in practice.83 A failure for more than a reasonable time to reclaim personal property transferred during infancy, more clearly than in the case of real estate, amounts to an affirmance.84 If the infant's bargain is wholly executory the mere failure to repudiate the bargain until a claim is made under it, is probably insufficient to indicate that the right to avoid the contract has been given up.85 Ignorance of the party ratifying, that his infancy gives him a legal defence is generally and rightly held to be immaterial in the more recent cases; 85a but ignorance of the facts on which the original obligation was based,,85b or of the fact that he was an infant when the transaction was originally entered into,86 invalidates ratification. Such admission or part payment of a debt as is generally held sufficient
App. 203; Pursley v. Hays, 17 Iowa, 310; Robinson p.. Hoekum, 14 Bush, 393; Boody v. McKenney, 23 Me. 517; Hilton v. Shepherd, 92 Me. 160, 42 Atl. 387; Boyden v. Boyden, 9 Metc. S19; Koeraer v. Wilkinson, 96 Mo. App. 610,70 S. W. 509; Krbel v. Krbcl, 84 Neb. 160, 120 N. W. 935; Robbins v. Eaton, 10 N. H. 561; Williams v. Mubee, 3 Halat. Ch. 600; Delano v. Blake, 11 Wend. 85, 26 Am. Dec. 617; State v. Rousseau, 94 N. C. 355; Mission Ridge Co. v Nixon (Tenn.), 48 S. W. 405. It was held otherwise, however, as to lumber built into a house in Bloomer v. Nolan, 36 Neb. 51, 53 N. W. 1039, 38 Am. St. Rep. 690. See also Lynch v. Johnson, 109 Mich. 640, 67 N. W. 908.
81 Clark v. Kidd, 148 Ky. 479, 146 S. W. 1097.
82 Irvine v. Irvine, 9 Wall. 617, 627, 19 L. Ed. 800; Sims v. Everhardt, 102 U. S. 300, 312, 26 L. Ed. 87; Wells v. Seixas, 24 Fed. 82; Kounz v. Davis, 34 Ark. 690; Barker v. Fuestal, 103 Ark. 312,147 S. W. 45; Wright v. Buchanan, 287 111. 468, 123 N. E. 53; Richardson v. Pate, 93 Ind. 423, 47 Am. Rep. 374; Davis p. Dudley, 70 Me. 236, 35 Am. Rep. 318; Prout v. Wiley, 28 Mich. 164; Donovan v. Ward, 100 Mich. 601, 59
N. W. 254; Wallace p. Latham, 62 Miss. 291, 297; Shipp v. McKee, 80 Miss. 741, 92 Am. St. Rep. 616; Watson v. Peebles, 102 Miss. 725, 59 So. 881; Lake v. Perry, 95 Miss. 550, 49 So. 569; Cresinger v. Welch's Lessee, 15 Ohio St. 156, 45 Am. Dec. 565; Gilliespe v Bailey, 12 W. Va. 70, 29 Am. Rep. 445; Blake p. Hollands-worth, 71 W. Va. 387, 76 S. E. 814, 43 L. R. A. (N. S.) 714.
83Hastings v. Dollarhide, 24 Cat 195; Bentley p. Greer, 100 Ga. 36, 27 S. E. 974; Justice v. Justice, 170 Ky. 423, 186 S. W. 148; Goodnow p. Empire Lumber Co., 31 Minn. 468, 18 N. W. 283, 47 Am. Rep. 798, and cases cited; Robinson p. Allison, 192 Mo. 366, 91 S. W. 115; Parrish v. Treadway, 267 Mo. 91, 183 S. W. 580; Searcy p. Hunter, 81 Tex. 644, 17 S. W. 372, 26 Am. St. Rep. 837; Lawder v. Larkin (Tex. Civ. App.), 94 S. W. 171; Salser v. Barron (Tex. Civ. App.), 146 S. W. 1039; Stonev. Wolfe, 50 Tex. Civ, App. 231, 109 S. W. 981. See also Criswell v. Criswell, 101 Neb. 349, 163 N. W. 302, L. R. A. 1917, E. 1103.
84 Lee v. Equitable Life Ass. Soc.. 195 Mo. App. 40, 189 S. W. 1195; Chandler v. Jones, 172 N. C. 569, 90 S. E. 680.
84 See Tobey v. Wood, 123 Mass. 88, 25 Am. Rep. 27; Tyler v. Gallop's Est., 68 Mich. 185, 35 N. W. 902; Nichols, etc, Co. v. Snyder, 78 Minn. 502, 81 N. W. 516; Tupp v. Pederaon, 78 Minn. 524, 81 N. W. 1103; Parsons P. Teller, 188 N. Y. 318, 326, 80 N. E. 930; International Text Book Co. v. Connelly, 206 N. Y. 188, 99 N. E. 722,42L.R.A.(N.8.)1115. Whether so extended a privilege should be allowed the infant maker of negotiable paper which is likely to get into the hands of innocent purchasers may be questioned. In Darlington v. Hamilton Bank, 63 N. Y. Misc. 289, 116 N. Y. 8.678, 680, the court said such an instrument might be repudiated "before such infant becomes of age, or within a reasonable time after becoming of age," and the same rule seems to hare been applied in regard to the obligation of an infant surety on a note in Johnson v. Stone, 32 Neb. 610, 49 N. W. 371. In England it is held that an infant's marriage settlement can be avoided only within a reasonable time after coming of age. Edwards v. Carter,  A. C. 360. Here it will be observed the rule requires no retention by the infant of any benefit after he comes of age.
In Iowa, by statute, disaffirmance of all contracts of an infant can only be made within a reasonable time after he comes of age. See Leacox v. Griffith, 76 Ia. 89, 40 N. W. 109.
83a American Mtge. Co. v. Wright,
101 Ala. 658, 14 So. 399; Beator v. Hickey, 71 Conn. 181, 41 Atl. 555; Rubin v. Strandberg, 288 111. 64, 122 N. E. 808; Clark v. VanCourt, 100 Ind. 113, 50 Am. Rep. 774; Morse v. Wheeler, 4 Allen, 570; Taft v. Sergeant, 18 Barb. 320; Ring v. Jamison, 66 Mo. 424; Anderson v. Soward, 40 Oh. St. 325, 48 Am. Rep. 687. Contra, however, are Harmer v. Killing, 5 Esp. 102; Manning v. Gannon, 44 App. D. C. 98; Coe v. Moon, 260 111. 76, 102 N. E. 1074; Thing v. Libbey, 16 Me. 55; Trader v. Lowe, 45 Md. 1; Turner v. Gaither, 83 N. C. 357, 35 Am. Rep. 674; Hinely v. Margaritz, 3 Pa. St. 428; Reed v. Boshears, 4 Sneed, 118; Fletcher v. A. W. Koch Co. (Tex. Civ. App.), 189 S. W. 501; Hatch c. Hatch's Est., 60 Vt. 160, 13 Atl. 791. See also Sayles v. Christie, 187 111. 420, 443, 58 N. E. 480. Where payments after majority were made on defendant's false representation that plaintiff must pay or go to jail, no ratification can be presumed. Healy v. Kellogg, 145 N. Y. S. 943.
85b Crabtree v. May, 1 B. Mon. 289; Tobey v. Wood, 123 Mass. 88, 25 Am. Rep. 27. In these cases an infant's assent after he attained his majority to continue a member of a firm was held no ratification of his obligation to pay firm debts of which he was ignoto avoid the bar of the Statute of Limitations ought more clearly in the case of infancy to determine the right to avoid an obligation. But the weight of authority is otherwise,87 though many of the decisions are early ones, made at a time when the legal nature of an infant's contract had not yet been clearly formulated. A promise made to a third person has also been held insufficient.88 But ratification may be conditional or partial.89 Even though the contract of an infant in a particular case is void, it should be observed that, after coming of age, if the requirements of mutual assent and consideration can be met the infant may adopt the old contract, that is, make a new contract in terms like the original one, and such adoption may be shown by acts as well as words.90
86 Ridgeway v. Herbert, 150 Mo. 606, 614, 51 S. W. 1040, 73 Am. St. Rep. 464.