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Delaware Adoption Laws

Adopting a child can be a complex process. The adoption process, including rules for who may adopt, is governed by state laws. Read on to learn more about Delaware adoption law, including who may be adopted, who may adopt them, and other important statutory requirements for adopting a child in the state of Delaware.

Delaware Adoption Laws

The following table highlights the main provisions of Delaware's adoption laws, and an in-depth discussion follows. See FindLaw's Adoption section to learn more.

Code Section Tit. 13, § 901 et. seq., of the Delaware Code
Who May Be Adopted Any person
Age that Child's Consent Needed 14 years and older, unless the court waives consent in the best interest of the child
Who May Adopt Unmarried person; divorced or legally separated person; spouses who are living together and hold themselves out to be a couple/in a relationship. Must be a legal resident of Delaware and over 21.
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? 6 months
State Agency/Court Dept. of Services for Children, Youth & Families/Family
Statute of Limitations to Challenge 6 months

Note: State laws are constantly changing -- contact a Delaware adoption attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Eligibility for Adoption in General

In most states, any single adult or a married couple together is eligible to adopt a child. A stepparent may also be eligible to adopt the birth child of his or her spouse. In some states, married persons are allowed to adopt without their spouse's consent if their spouse is legally incompetent or if they are legally separated from their spouse. Many states have adoption courts, which look to serve the best interests of a child when it comes to adoption decisions.

Related Resources for Adoption Laws

State standards and regulations concerning adoption can be complex and are subject to change. You can visit FindLaw's Adoption Laws section to review some of these laws and get a more general overview in our Adoption section.

Get Legal Help With an Adoption

Adoption can be a complicated process. There are many state and federal laws that govern adoption. An attorney will help you navigate these laws. They will help review your case, provide helpful legal advice, and advocate for you and your future child.

If you would like legal assistance with an adoption case, you can find an experienced Delaware adoption attorney in your area to schedule a consultation.


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