Unregulated Custody Transfers of Adopted Children - Delaware

Date: August 2022


Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13, § 901

The term 'to place' includes any of the following activities, each of which may be performed only by the Department of Services for Children, Youth and Their Families; a licensed agency; or an authorized agency: the selection of an approved family for the child, the arrangement for the child's move into an adoptive home, or the relocation of the child with an adoptive family.

Prohibited or Required Actions Regarding Custody

Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13, §§ 904; 926; 930

No petition for adoption shall be presented unless, prior to the filing of the petition, the child sought to be adopted has been placed for adoption by the department, a licensed agency, or an authorized agency, and the placement has been supervised by the department or a licensed agency. No placement for an identified adoption in which an intermediary has been involved shall be approved or permitted by the department or a licensed agency. An adoptive placement shall not be made until a preplacement evaluation that complies with the Delaware Requirements for Child Placing Agencies has been completed by the department or licensed agency. No child shall be brought or received into the State for the purpose of adoption without the approval of the department.

No natural parent or prospective adoptive parent; anyone acting on behalf of the natural or prospective adoptive parent; or person, firm, corporation, organization, or other legal entity, except the department or a licensed agency, shall advertise in this State regarding the availability of adoption services or for the placement of a child for the purpose of adoption.


Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13, § 904

Such placement or supervision shall not be necessary in the case of the following:

  • A child sought to be adopted by a stepparent
  • A child sought to be adopted by a blood relative, except as provided in § 926 of this title
  • A child sought to be adopted by a guardian or permanent guardian as long as guardianship or permanent guardianship has been granted for at least 6 months prior to filing the adoption petition


Citation: Ann. Code Tit. 13, § 926

No petition for adoption of a child brought or received into this State in violation of this section shall be presented or granted.