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Adopting in Delaware

Adoption in Delaware

Delaware, the First State, allows any adult over the age of 21 to adopt. And, of note, adoption is not final until 6 months of home residency has occurred. This state allows for Adoptive Parents to provide financial support for the Birth mother's medical. legal and counseling expenses, and if using an adoption agency, food, clothing and lodging may be covered as well. In regard to consent, Delaware's laws favor the Birth Mom, automatically returning the child to her if consent is revoked. In independent adoptions, consent is irrevocable after filed in court, and with an agency, 14 days after signing. Interesting fact: Delaware is the least populated state in America.

Home Study Providers in Delaware

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Traveling For Your Adoption in Delaware

Length of ICPC
in Delaware

1-30 days

Delaware adheres to the Interstate Compact On The Placement of Children (ICPC) – a uniform law in all 50 States that establishes procedures for the interstate placement of children. The ICPC also places specific responsibilities on those involved in placing the children. The three principle goals of the ICPC are to:

Protect the children being placed.
Ensure that they receive the services they need.
Facilitate permanent placements for those children who are in state custody

Adoption Law FAQ in Delaware

Advertising Law Info

Adoption Law Info

Home Study Info

  • Elements of a Home Study for Adoption
    Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 31, § 309; Code of Regs. 9-200-201, Rules 189, 192 through 196
    All prospective adoptive parents are required to submit fingerprints and other necessary information in order to obtain:
    • A report of the individual’s entire criminal history record from the Delaware State Police
    • A report of the individual’s entire Federal criminal history record
    • A certification from DSCYF as to whether the individual is named in the central register as the perpetrator in a report of child abuse
    In regulation: An agency shall have three written references for the adoptive parent(s) or telephone notes on such references. At least two of these references shall be persons not related to the adoptive parent(s) by blood or marriage.
    The agency shall conduct at least one home visit and meet with each person who lives in the adoptive home.
    The agency shall require that:
    • A single adoptive parent or an adoptive parent couple who both work outside the home have a plan for caring for children during their absence.
    • Adoptive parent(s) who conduct a business in their home demonstrate that the activities related to this business will not interfere with the care of the children.
    • An adoptive home is reasonably safe, in good repair, and at least comparable in appearance and maintenance to other family homes in the community.
    • The home and the exterior around the home are free from objects, materials, and conditions that constitute a danger to the children served.
    • An adoptive home shall be in compliance with State and local standards, ordinances, and regulations for residential use.
  • Grounds for Withholding Approval for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. 9-200-201, Rule 188
    Approval of an application will be denied if the adoptive parent(s) or other members of the household have convictions, current indictment, or substantial evidence of involvement in any criminal activity involving violence against a person, child abuse or neglect, serious sexual misconduct, gross irresponsibility, disregard for the safety of others, or serious violations of accepted standards of honesty or ethical conduct.
    The agency may, at its own discretion, make exemptions to the above requirement when the agency documents that the health, safety, and well-being of children would not be endangered.
  • When Home Studies Must Be Completed for Adoption
    Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13, § 904; Code of Regs. 9-200-201, Rules 199
    An adoptive placement shall not be made until a preplacement evaluation that complies with the Delaware Requirements for Child Placing Agencies has been completed.
    In regulation: An agency shall not approve an adoptive home unless a final written evaluation has been completed. A child shall not be placed in a home without a current written evaluation completed within 1 year prior to the date of placement.
  • Postplacement Study Requirements for Adoption
    Citation: Code of Regs. 9-200-201, Rule 205
    An agency shall arrange regular postplacement visits to the adoptive family, including home or office contacts. The initial visit shall occur within the first 4 weeks of placement and a minimum of two subsequent visits shall be made. Each member of the household shall be interviewed during the period of supervision.


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