Can a known donor renounce his legal obligations as a parent?

Yes. In Delaware, a donor is not considered a legal parent of a child conceived through clinic-assisted reproduction. However, if a man provides sperm for clinic-assisted reproduction with the intent to become a legal parent, he will be considered the father of the child. Note that such intent must be documented in writing.

In a related case, a Delaware court ruled that a man, whose girlfriend used his semen to get herself pregnant without his knowledge, was not considered to be a legal parent.

What if a known donor attempts to enforce his parental rights when the original intent was to be a sperm donor only?

This is possible under certain circumstances – specifically, if the donor “holds out” the child as his own through his relationship with the child, the donor may be able to assert parentage.

Does the state allow for second-parent adoption (i.e., for same-sex couples)?


Does the state allow for multiple-parent families (when the child has more than two adults in a parenting role)?


Does the state recognize “de-facto” or “psychological” parentage (of an “acting” parent without a biological connection)?

Yes (by statute).