CHAPTER 241

FORMERLY

HOUSE BILL NO. 499

AS AMENDED BY HOUSE AMENDMENT NO. 1

AN ACT TO AMEND CHAPTER 9 AND CHAPTER 11, TITLE 13 OF THE DELAWARE CODE RELATING TO ADOPTION AND TERMINATION OF PARENTAL RIGHTS.

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

Section 1. Amend §901, Chapter 9, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding, following the definition of "Authorized agency" and before the definition of "Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Social Services", the following new definition:

"Child' means any male or female who has not attained his or her eighteenth birthday."

Section 2. Amend §902, Chapter 9, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking subparagraph (c) and substituting in lieu thereof a new subparagraph (c) which shall read as follows:

"(c) in any case in which, before the proposed adoption has been finally approved or disapproved, the petitioner or petitioners move into a county other than the county in which the original petition was filed, or into another jurisdiction, the Superior Court of the county in which the petition was originally filed may continue to exercise jurisdiction over the proceeding until a final decision has bee_n rendered on the petition."

Section 3. Amend §906, Chapter 9, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking subparagraph 7 (b) and inserting in lieu thereof a new subparagraph 7 (b) to read as follows:

"(b) In the case of a child born out of wedlock, the name and address of the mother, and her marital status at the time of the child's conception and birth, and, in the event she was married at the time of the child's conception or birth, the name and address of the mother's husband at those times, and an affidavit by the mother setting forth either (A) the name and last known address of the natural father, or (B) a statement that the mother knows the name of the natural father but is unwilling to disclose the name of the natural father, or (C) a statement that the mother does not know the name of the natural father, or (D) the name of the natural father, and a statement that the mother has never known his address."

Section 4. Amend §906, Chapter 9, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by redesignating subparagraph (8) as new subparagraph (9), and by adding a new subparagraph (8) to read as follows:

"(8) If the name and/or address of the natural father is not included, detailed information concerning the efforts made to identify and locate the natural father so as to enable the Court to determine what further steps, if any, should be taken."

Section 5. Amend §913, Chapter 9, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by redesignating subsection (b) as new subsection (c), and inserting a new subsection (b) to read as follows:

"(b) In the case of a child to be adopted by a stepparent or a blood relative there shall be a period of supervision by the Department of Health and Social Services, Division of Social Services, or an authorized agency of not more than one year from the filing of the petition."

Section 6. Amend §926, Chapter 9, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking said section in its entirety and substituting in lieu thereof the following:

"§926. Bringing Child into State for Adoption

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

Section 7. Amend subparagraph (a), Section 915, Chapter 9, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking the last sentence thereof and substituting the following new sentence:

"If the Court is of the opinion that such a decree should not be entered, it shall notify the petitioner or petitioners and, if requested by any petitioner, it shall order a hearing to which all interested parties shall be duly summoned, and, based upon the report and evidence adduced at the hearing, the Court shall issue its decree granting or refusing the prayer of the petition."

Section 9. Amend §I103, Chapter I I , Title 13 of the Delaware Code by adding a new subparagraph following subparagraph (4), which new subparagraph shall not be numbered and shall read as follows:

"Unless adoption is contemplated, the termination of one parent's parental rights by the other parent shall not be granted if the effect will be to leave only one parent holding parental rights, unless the Court shall find the continuation of the rights to be terminated will be harmful to the child."

Section 10. Amend §1104, Chapter 11, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by deleting subsection (7) thereof and renumbering present subsection (8) as new subsection (7).

Section 11. Amend §1105, Chapter II, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking subparagraph (a) (5) thereof and substituting the following:

"(5) If the child was born out of wedlock, the name and address of the mother and her marital status at the time of the child's conception and birth, and, in the event she was married at the time of the child's conception or birth, the name and address of the mother's husband at those times, and an affidavit by the mother setting forth either (A) the name and last known address of the natural father, or (B) a statement that the mother knows the name of the natural father but is unwilling to disclose the name of the natural father, or (C) a statement that the mother does not know the name of the natural father, or (D) the name of the natural father, and a statement that the mother has never known his address."

Section 12. Amend §1105, Chapter II, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by deleting the second sentence of subparagraph (c), and adding a new numbered sentence under subparagraph (a) thereof, to be designated and read as follows:

"(9) In addition to other pertinent information, the petition shall, if the name and/or address of the natural father is not included, furnish detailed information concerning the efforts made to identify and locate the natural father so as to enable the Court to determine what further steps, if any, should be taken."

Section 13. Amend §I107, Chapter II, Title 13 of the Delaware Code by striking subparagraph (b) thereof and substituting the following:

"(b) If the Court shall find that personal service within the State of Delaware cannot be accomplished upon the parent or parents, person or person or organization holding parental rights, the Court shall then cause notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing to be published once a week, for three successive weeks, in such newspapers of the county, one or more, as the Court may judge best for giving the parent or parents, or person or persons or organization holding parental rights notice, the formal wording of said notice to be approved by the Court. Such publication shall constitute conclusive evidence of service and a hearing will then proceed at the time and date set with or without the appearance of the parent or parents, person or persons or organization so notified. Publication shall also be made in the locality in which the parent or parents, person or persons or organization holding parental rights is believed to be located if different from the county where the publication just described has been caused. If any publication is ordered pursuant to this subparagraph, the Court shall also order that the Prothonotary, at least three weeks prior to the hearing, shall send by regular and registered or certified mail to the parent or parents, or person or persons or organization holding parental rights, at the address or addresses given in the petition, a copy of the same notice, or a similar notice of the time, place and purpose of the hearing."

Approved July 10, 1975