PARENTS AND CHILDREN - ILLEGITIMATE CHILDREN
AN ACT to amend Chapter 88 of the Revised Code of the State of Delaware, in relation to Illegitimate children.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the State of Delaware in General Assembly met:
Section 1. That Chapter 88 of the Revised Code be and the same is hereby amended by repealing paragraph 3072. Section 12 and inserting in lieu thereof the following to be known as 3072. Section 12.
3072. Section 12. The father of an illegitimate child shall be bound to pay the trustees of the poor of any' county in the State all charges they shall incur, for maintenance, or otherwise, of such child whilst under 16 years of age. They may recover the same as any other debt ; or by means of any bond of indemnity, given to secure them, under the provisions of Section 17 of this Chapter.
Section 2. That Chapter 88 of the Revised Code be and the same is hereby amended by repealing paragraph 3073. Section 13 and inserting in lieu thereof the following to be known as 3073. Section 13.
3073. Section 13. Proceedings may be instituted upon complaint by the woman who has been delivered of an illegitimate, or who is pregnant, by the trustees of the poor, or by any other person upon oath before a Justice of the Peace, and thereupon the Justice shall issue a warrant to any Constable for the arrest of the person so charged.
The proceeding shall be in the name of the State, and the warrant of arrest in form as in other criminal cases. An offense under Sections 12 to 28, inclusive, of this Chapter, shall be held to have been committed in any County in which such woman or child may be at the time such complaint is made. It shall be the duty of the State, in cases in which application is properly made by the officers responsible for the execution of the law to provide the funds necessary for the extraditing of any person charged with an offense under said Sections, who has gone to another State.
Section 3. That Chapter 88 of the Revised Code be and the same is hereby amended by repealing paragraph 3077. Section 17 and inserting in lieu thereof the following to be known as 3077. Section 17.
3077. Section 17. If it be determined that the person charged is the father of the child, the Justice shall have the power to make an order, which shall be subject to change by the Justice or his successor from time to time, as circumstances may require, directing the defendant to pay for the maintenance of the child, a certain sum periodically to the mother or other person keeping the child until the child is sixteen years old which sum shall be not less than Fifteen Dollars nor more than Forty Dollars per month. In addition thereto the Justice hearing the case shall make an order requiring the defendant to pay the mother of the child a sum certain for lying in expenses not less than Twenty-five nor more than Forty Dollars, and also a certain sum to the physician who attended the mother during her delivery not less than Twenty nor more than Thirty Dollars. All orders made shall be in the discretion of the Justice, having regard to the circumstances and to the financial ability or earning power of the defendant. The defendant shall be released from custody on probation upon his entering into a recognizance with surety in such sum as the Justice may order and approve that the orders of the Justice shall be carried out. The term of the recognizance shall be for two years at which time the defendant shall be required to appear and to enter into a new recognizance, upon the same terms and conditions as the expiring recognizance. If the defendant does not appear, the Justice, after reasonable notice to the principal or surety, shall declare the recognizance forfeited and shall so endorse the forfeiture with date, upon the recognizance and send it to the Attorney General for collection. The condition of any recognizance shall be such that if the defendant shall make his personal appearance before the said Justice or his successor whenever ordered so to do, and shall further comply with the terms of such order of support or of any subsequent modification thereof, then such recognizance shall be void, otherwise in full force and effect.
Section 4. That Chapter 88 of the Revised Code be and the same is hereby amended by repealing paragraph 3079. Section 19 and inserting in lieu thereof the following to be known as 3079. Section 19.
3079. Section 19. Any Justice taking such bond of indemnity shall endorse his approval and shall forthwith transmit said bond to the trustees of the poor of his county and shall immediately notify the State Board of Charities of the giving of such bond. If he neglects this duty, he shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and shall be fined not exceeding fifty dollars.
Section 5. That Chapter 88 of the Revised Code be and the same is hereby amended by repealing paragraph 3085. Section 25 and inserting In lieu thereof the following to be known as 3085. Section 25.
3085. Section 25. In illegitimacy cases the mother shall be a competent witness, unless otherwise legally incompetent; and if she be dead at the time of hearing, or trial, her declaration made in the time of travail, and persevered in as her dying declaration, shall be evidence.
And, where in any proceeding against the father, it appears, by the return of the constable, that he cannot be found, the justice may take the mother's deposition in his absence, and it shall be received in evidence in all cases, if her attendance cannot be procured.
Section 6. That Chapter 88 of the Revised Code be and the same is hereby amended by repealing paragraph 3086. Section 26 and inserting in lieu thereof the following, to be known as 3086. Section 26.
3086. Section 26. The costs of proceedings in illegitimacy cases shall be paid by the father, if the paternity is established; otherwise by the County.
Section 7. That Chapter 88 of the Revised Code be amended by striking out 3087. Section 27, and inserting in lieu thereof the following to be known as 3087. Section 27.
3087. Section 27. A child conceived out of wedlock shall be legitimate if the parents shall intermarry before the birth of the child or if they shall intermarry after adjudication or acknowledgment of parentage after the birth of the child, or upon acknowledgement of the paternity made in writing by the parents, if both be living or by the father if the mother be not living and filed in the Prothonotary's office of any County of the State. Any child legitimated solely by such acknowledgement shall not inherit from the father under the inheritance laws of this State. When an illegitimate person dies intestate and without lawful issue, his property, real and personal, if any such there be, shall pass, and belong to the mother, if living, and in case of her death, to her heirs, subject always to the payment of debts and demands against such illegitimate person or person, and to expenses of administration.
Approved March 31, A. D. 1921.