State Laws and Legislation

Delaware Adoption Law

Permits single LGBT individuals to petition to adopt? Yes.
Delaware law permits any unmarried adult or husband and wife to petition to adopt. (DEL. CODE. ANN. Tit 13, § 903)

Permits a same-sex couple to jointly petition to adopt? No explicit prohibition.
State law provides that a husband and wife may jointly petition to adopt, and does not explicitly provide for joint adoption by other couples.  No state court has heard the issue of whether same-sex couples can or can not jointly petition to adopt.

Permits a same-sex partner to petition to adopt partner’s child or child of the relationship? In some jurisdictions.
In some jurisdictions in Delaware a person may be able to petition to adopt the child of his or her same-sex partner or child of the relationship. For instance, in 2001, a family court in New Castle County held that a same-sex partner could petition to adopt his partner’s adopted children. (In re Hart, 806 A.2d 1179 (Del. Fam. Ct., 2001))

Details: In 2001, in a case determining whether a same-sex partner could use the state’s adoption laws to adopt his partner’s child, the Delaware family court confirmed that any unmarried adult can legally petition the court for adoption. (In re Hart, 806 A.2d 1179 (Del. Fam. Ct., 2001))

Updated: Tue, December 08, 2009 - 12:00:44