Delaware Paternity Law
This information about Delaware paternity legal statutes is provided for general use only. Journey Genetic Testing does not provide legal advice or representation. We encourage you to research your state laws for the most current information, or contact a family law attorney. All of our DNA testing is conducted in AABB accredited testing laboratories.
Delaware Paternity Law: Chapter 136 Section 8-202 to 8-310
§ 8-202. NO DISCRIMINATION BASED ON MARITAL STATUS
A child born to parents who are not married to each other has the same rights under the law as a child born to parents who are married to each other.
§ 8-203. CONSEQUENCES OF ESTABLISHMENT OF PARENTAGE
Unless parental rights are terminated, a parent-child relationship established under this Chapter applies for all purposes, except as otherwise specifically provided by other law of this State.
§ 8-204. PRESUMPTION OF PATERNITY IN CONTEXT OF MARRIAGE
(a) A man is presumed to be the father of a child if:
(1) he and the mother of the child are married to each other and the child is born during the marriage;
(2) he and the mother of the child were married to each other and the child is born within 300 days after the marriage is terminated by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;
(3) before the birth of the child, he and the mother of the child married each other in apparent compliance with law, even if the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and the child is born during the invalid marriage or within 300 days after its termination by death, annulment, declaration of invalidity, or divorce;
(4) after the birth of the child, he and the mother of the child married each other in apparent compliance with law, whether or not the marriage is or could be declared invalid, and he voluntarily asserted his paternity of the child, and:
(i) the assertion is in a record filed with the Office of Vital Statistics;
(ii) he agreed to be and is named as the child’s father on the child’s birth certificate; or
(iii) he promised in a record to support the child as his own; or
(5) for the first two years of the child’s life, he resided in the same household with the child and openly held out the child as his own.
(b) A presumption of paternity established under this Section may be rebutted only by an adjudication under Subchapter 6.
Delaware Paternity Law: Subchapter III. Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity
§ 8-301. ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PATERNITY
The mother of a child and a man claiming to be the genetic father of the child may sign an acknowledgment of paternity with intent to establish the man’s paternity.
§ 8-302. EXECUTION OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OF PATERNITY
(a) An acknowledgment of paternity must:
(1) be in a record;
(2) be signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury by the mother and by the man seeking to establish his paternity;
(3) state that the child whose paternity is being acknowledged:
(i) does not have a presumed father, or has a presumed father whose full name is stated; and
(ii) does not have another acknowledged or adjudicated father.
(4) state whether there has been genetic testing and, if so, that the acknowledging man’s claim of paternity is consistent with the results of the testing; and
(5) state that the signatories understand that the acknowledgement is the equivalent of a judicial adjudication of paternity of the child and that a challenge to the acknowledgement is permitted only under limited circumstances and is barred after two years.
(b) An acknowledgment of paternity is void if it:
(1) states that another man is a presumed father, unless a denial of paternity signed or otherwise authenticated by the presumed father is filed with the Office of Vital Statistics;
(2) states that another man is an acknowledged or adjudicated father; or
(3) falsely denies the existence of a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated father of the child.
(c) A presumed father may sign or otherwise authenticate an acknowledgment of paternity.
§ 8-303. DENIAL OF PATERNITY
A presumed father may sign a denial of his paternity. The denial is valid only if:
(1) an acknowledgment of paternity signed, or otherwise authenticated, by another man is filed pursuant to § 8-305;
(2) the denial is in a record, and is signed, or otherwise authenticated, under penalty of perjury; and
(3) the presumed father has not previously:
(i) acknowledged his paternity, unless the previous acknowledgment has been rescinded pursuant to § 8-307 or successfully challenged pursuant to § 8-308; or
(ii) been adjudicated to be the father of the child.
§ 8-304. RULES FOR ACKNOWLEDGMENT AND DENIAL OF PATERNITY
(a) An acknowledgment of paternity and a denial of paternity may be contained in a single document or may be signed in counterparts, and may be filed separately or simultaneously. If the acknowledgment and denial are both necessary, neither is valid until both are filed.
(b) An acknowledgment of paternity or a denial of paternity may be signed before the birth of the child.
(c) Subject to Subsection (a), an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity takes effect on the birth of the child or the filing of the document with the Office of Vital Statistics, whichever occurs later.
(d) An acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity signed by a minor is valid if it is otherwise in compliance with this chapter.
§ 8-305. EFFECT OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT OR DENIAL OF PATERNITY
(a) Except as otherwise provided in § 8-307 and § 8-308, a valid acknowledgment of paternity filed with the Office of Vital Statistics is equivalent to an adjudication of paternity of a child and confers upon the acknowledged father all of the rights and duties of a parent.
(b) Except as otherwise provided in § 8-307 and § 8-308, a valid denial of paternity by a presumed father filed with the Office of Vital Statistics in conjunction with a valid acknowledgment of paternity is equivalent to an adjudication of the nonpaternity of the presumed father and discharges the presumed father from all rights and duties of a parent.
§ 8-306. NO FILING FEE
The Office of Vital Statistics may not charge for filing an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity according to Delaware paternity law.
§ 8-307. PROCEEDING FOR RESCISSION
A signatory may rescind an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity by commencing a proceeding to rescind before the earlier of:
(1) 60 days after the effective date of the acknowledgment or denial, as provided in § 8-304; or
(2) the date of the first hearing, in a proceeding to which the signatory is a party, before a Court to adjudicate an issue relating to the child, including a proceeding that establishes support.
§ 8-308. CHALLENGE AFTER EXPIRATION OF PERIOD FOR RESCISSION
(a) After the period for rescission under § 8-307 has expired, a signatory of an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity may commence a proceeding to challenge the acknowledgment or denial only:
(1) on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact; and
(2) within two years after the acknowledgment or denial is filed with the Office of Vital Statistics.
(b) A party challenging an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity has the burden of proof.
§ 8-309. PROCEDURE FOR RESCISSION OR CHALLENGE
(a) Every signatory to an acknowledgment of paternity and any related denial of paternity must be made a party to a proceeding to rescind or challenge the acknowledgment or denial.
(b) For the purpose of rescission of, or challenge to, an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, a signatory submits to personal jurisdiction of this State by signing the acknowledgment or denial, effective upon the filing of the document with the Office of Vital Statistics.
(c) Except for good cause shown, during the pendency of a proceeding to rescind or challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, the Court may not suspend the legal responsibilities of a signatory arising from the acknowledgment, including the duty to pay child support.
(d) A proceeding to rescind or to challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity must be conducted in the same manner as a proceeding to adjudicate parentage under Subchapter 6.
(e) At the conclusion of a proceeding to rescind or challenge an acknowledgment of paternity or denial of paternity, the Court shall order the Office of Vital Statistics to amend the birth record of the child, if appropriate.
§ 8-310. RATIFICATION BARRED
A Court or administrative agency conducting a judicial or administrative proceeding is not required or permitted to ratify an unchallenged acknowledgment of paternity.
Required Probability of Paternity for Delaware Courts: 99%
Required Paternity Index: .50 on a scale of 0 to 100
For a list of locations where we provide an approved DNA test in that meets all Delaware paternity law requirements, please click Paternity Testing In Delaware.