CHAPTER 363

AN ACT TO AMEND TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ADOPTION AND TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS TO DEFINE "ABANDONED" IN THE ADOPTION STATUTE CONSISTENTLY WITH THE DEFINITION IN THE TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS STATUTE, TO DEFINE "AUTHORIZED AGENCY" TO INCLUDE OUT-OF-STATE AGENCIES, TO ESTABLISH JURISDICTION OVER ADOPTIONS WHEN THE AUTHORIZED AGENCY IS LOCATED WITHIN DELAWARE, TO PERMIT ADOPTIONS BASED ON CONSENT OF OUT-OF-STATE AGENCIES, AND TO PERMIT TRANSFER OF PARENTAL RIGHTS FROM A DELAWARE AGENCY TO AN OUT-OF-STATE AGENCY.

Be it enacted by the General Assembly of the State of Delaware:

Section 1. Section 901, Chapter 9, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended by deleting the definitions of "Abandoned" and "Authorized agency" as presently set forth in that Section and substituting the following therefor:

" 'Abandoned' shall be interpreted as referring to any child who, for a period of one year, has not received any regular and reasonable financial help from or any substantial visits from his parent or parents or any person having parental rights or responsibility and on whose behalf no substantial contacts have been initiated by his parent or parents or any person having parental rights or responsibility; provided, however, that in the case of any illegitimate child or foundling, or when the child's father is someone other than said mother's husband (which fact shall be deemed established, prima facie, for the purposes of this statue only, if said mother files an affidavit so averring) then `abandoned' may be interpreted by the court, in its discretion, as referring to a child who, for a period of six months has not received any regular financial help from or any substantial visits from his parent or parents or any person having parental rights or responsibility and on whose behalf no substantial contacts have been initiated by his parent or parents or any person having parental rights or responsibility."

" 'Authorized agency' means any agency licensed by the Department of Public Welfare of this state to place children for adoption, or any agency duly approved, certified, recognized or licensed by the proper authority of any other state in which that agency is located to place children for adoption:"

Section 2. Section 902, Chapter 9, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended by deleting paragraph (b) thereof and substituting the following therefor:

"(b) A petition for adoption shall be filed either in the Orphans' Court of the county in which the authorized agency placing the child is located, or the Orphans' Court of the county in which the petitioner resides."

Section 3. Section 904, Chapter 9, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended by deleting all of subparagraph (3) thereof.

Section 4. Section 906, Chapter 9, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended by deleting the phrase "or an accredited out-of-state agency" from the first sentence of paragraph (b) thereof.

Section 5. Section 907, Chapter 9, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended by deletion of the final sentence thereof, which sentence reads:

"If the child is brought into the state for the purpose of adoption in this state, the permission of the Department of Public Welfare must be obtained in accordance with Section 926 of this title."

Section 6. Section 908, Chapter 9, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended by the addition of a new subparagraph, under subparagraph (2) following subparagraph (c) and preceding subparagraph (3) to read as follows:

"(D) By an authorized agency of any other state having the right to consent to an adoption or having accepted consent or relinquishment (for adoption or permanent planning) from the natural parent, parents or guardian in accordance with the law of that jurisdiction."

Section 7. Section 926, Chapter 9, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended to read as follows:

"No person or organization, except Delaware authorized agencies licensed by the Department of Public Welfare, shall bring into this state, for the purpose of adoption within the state, a child from outside this state unless such person first receives permission from the Department of Public Welfare. No petition for the adoption of a child brought into the state in violation of this section shall be presented."

Section 8. Section 1101, Chapter 11, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended by deleting the definition of "Authorized agency" as presently set forth in that section and substituting the following therefor:

" 'Authorized agency' means any agency licensed by the Department of Public Welfare of this state to place children for adoption, or any agency duly approved, certified, recognized or licensed by the proper authority of any other state in which that agency is located to place children for adoption;"

Section 9. Section 1102, Chapter 11, Title 13, Delaware Code, is amended by the addition of a new paragraph to read as follows:

"(c) Whenever the Orphans' Court shall assume jurisdiction of a child for the purposes of this chapter, it shall be deemed to have retained jurisdiction for the purposes of proceeding under Chapter 9 of this title relating to adoption."

Approved April 11, 1970.