TN 105 (12-23)

GN 00306.445 Delaware Intestacy Laws

A. A child or father acquires the status of child or parent if:

1. the parents marry before the child's birth, or after adjudication or acknowledgment of parentage after the child's birth; or

2. there is written acknowledgment of the child's paternity on or after 12/07/65, by both parents (if both parents are living) or by father (if mother has died), and such acknowledgment is filed in the prothonotary's office of any Delaware county. Submit to the Office of the General Counsel (OGC) cases in which acknowledgment of paternity occurred before 12/07/65 and parents have not intermarried; or

3. (I) effective 12/25/74, the parents participated in a marriage ceremony before or after the birth of the child, even though the attempted marriage is void. Del. Code Ann. tit. 12, section 508 (1974); or

4. (I) effective 12/25/74, paternity is established in an adjudication by a preponderance of the evidence; except that if paternity is established under this section, the father does not acquire the status of parent unless he has openly treated the child as his own, and has not refused to support the child. Del. Code Ann. tit. 12 section 508 (1974).

B. A man is rebuttably identified as the father of a child if approved genetic testing discloses that:

(1) the man has at least a 99 percent probability of paternity, using a prior probability of 0.50, as calculated by using the combined paternity index obtained in the testing; and

(2) a combined paternity index of at least 100 to 1. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 8-505(a) (effective Jan. 1, 2004).

B.1. Where a man has been identified by approved genetic testing as the father to a child, the man may rebut the genetic testing results only by other approved genetic testing that:

(1) excludes the man as a genetic father of the child; or (2) identifies another man as the possible father of the child. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 8-505(b).”

B.2. Where more than one man is identified as the father of a child through approved genetic testing, the court shall order them to submit to further genetic testing to identify the genetic father. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 8-505(c).

C. For DNA testing to be acceptable in establishing paternity, it must be of a type reasonably relied upon by experts in the field of genetic testing and performed in a testing laboratory. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 8-503 (effective Jan. 1, 2004).”

C.1. In order to be acceptable under this section, a testing laboratory must be accredited by the American Association of Blood Banks, or a successor to its functions; the American Society for Histocompatibility and Immunogenetics, or a successor to its functions; or an accrediting body designated by the federal Secretary of Health and Human Services. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 8-503(a)(1)-(3).

C.2. The genetic testing must be in a record and signed under penalty of perjury by a designee of the testing laboratory. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 8-504(a) (effective Jan. 1, 2004).

D. Documentation from the testing laboratory of the following information is sufficient to establish a reliable chain of custody and will allow the results of genetic testing to be admissible without testimony:

(1) The names and photographs of the individual whose specimens have been taken;

(2) The names of the individuals who collected the specimens;

(3) The places and dates the specimens were collected;

(4) The names of the individuals who received the specimens in the testing laboratory; and

(5) The dates the specimens were received.

Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 8-504(b).

E. Based on these requirements, home DNA test kits or mail order DNA tests are not acceptable evidence for establishing paternity.

F. DNA test results alone, however, are insufficient to legitimate a child.

F.1. An illegitimate child cannot inherit from the father. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13,

§ 13-1303 (effective July 10, 1995)

F.2. In order to inherit from the father, the child must be legitimated, as provided by Section A. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 13-1303.”

F.3. Once legitimated, the child’s inheritance rights from the father shall be the same as a child conceived in wedlock of that father. However, an illegitimate child may inherit from the mother in the same manner as a legitimate child. Del. Code. Ann. tit. 13, § 13-1303.

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GN 00306.445 - Delaware Intestacy Laws - 12/07/2023
Batch run: 12/07/2023