Parental Rights in Delaware

Delaware State Law and Parental Rights

At Risk!

Delaware does not have a state statute that explicitly defines and protects parental rights as fundamental rights.

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Delaware Courts and Parental Rights

At Risk!

Wilson v. Div. of Family Servs., 988 A.2d 435, 442–43 (Del. 2010):

“Although the interest of natural parents in the care and custody of their children is a fundamental right protected by the due process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment (Santosky v. Kramer, 455 U.S. 745, 753, 102 S.Ct. 1388, 71L.Ed.2d 599 (1982)), a termination of parental rights proceeding differs from a criminal proceeding in many respects…. This Court has recognized that ‘a termination of parental rights proceeding does not require the level of due process mandated in a criminal proceeding.’ (Farley v. Dept. of Servs. For Children, Youth, Their Families, 2000 WL1862231, at 1 (Del.Dec. 15, 2000).)"