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Delaware Emancipation of Minor Law

Minors – Emancipation of Minor – Delaware

Body-piercing, tattooing or branding; consent for minors; civil and criminal penalties.

(a) No person shall knowingly or negligently tattoo, brand or perform body-piercing on a minor unless that person obtains the prior written consent of the minor’s parent over the age of 18 or legal guardian to the specific act of tattooing, branding or body-piercing.

(b) No person shall tattoo, brand or perform body-piercing on another person if the other person is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, being beer, wine or spirits or a controlled substance.

(c) Consent forms required by subsection (a) of this section shall be notarized.


(1) A person who violates this section shall be guilty of a class B misdemeanor for the first offense or a class A misdemeanor for a second or subsequent offense. The Court of Common Pleas shall have original jurisdiction over these offenses for those 18 years of age or older, and the Family Court shall have original jurisdiction for those under the age of 18 at the time of the offense.
(2) In any prosecution for an offense under this subsection, it shall be an affirmative defense that the individual, who has not reached the age of 18, presented to the accused identification, with a photograph of such individual affixed thereon, which identification sets forth information which would lead a reasonable person to believe such individual was 18 years of age or older. A photocopy of the identification shall be attached to the information card that a customer shall complete at the time that the tattoo, body-piercing or branding is obtained.

(e) A person who violates subsection (a) of this section is liable in a civil action for actual damages or $1,000, whichever is greater, plus reasonable court costs and attorney fees.

(f) As used in this section:

(1) “Body-piercing” means the perforation of human tissue excluding the ear for a nonmedical purpose.
(2) “Branding” means a permanent mark made on human tissue by burning with a hot iron or other instrument.
(3) “Controlled substance” means that term as defined in Chapter 47 of Title 16.
(4) “Minor” means an individual under 18 years of age who is not emancipated.
(5) “Tattoo” means 1 or more of the following:

a. An indelible mark made upon the body of another person by the insertion of a pigment under the skin.
b. An indelible design made upon the body of another person by production of scars other than by branding.

(6) Nothing in this section shall require a person to tattoo, brand or body pierce a minor with parental consent if the person does not regularly tattoo, brand or body pierce customers under the age of 18. Title 11, § 1114

TITLE 18 Insurance Code

Power to contract; purchase of insurance and annuities by minors.

(a) Any person of competent legal capacity may contract for insurance.

(b) Any minor not less than 15 years of age, with the consent of parent or guardian, if any, unless otherwise emancipated, may, notwithstanding his or her minority, contract for or own annuities or insurance or affirm by novation or otherwise preexisting contracts for annuities or insurance upon his or her own life, body, health, property, liabilities or other interests or on the persons of another in whom the minor has an insurable interest. Such a minor shall, notwithstanding such minority, be deemed competent to exercise all rights and powers with respect to or under (1) any contract for annuity or for insurance upon his or her own life, body or health; or (2) any contract such minor effected upon his or her own property, liabilities or other interests; or (3) any contract effected or owned by the minor on the person of another as might be exercised by a person of full legal age and may at any time surrender his or her interest in any such contracts and give valid discharge for any benefit accruing or money payable thereunder. Such a minor shall not, by reason of his or her minority, be entitled to rescind, avoid or repudiate the contract, nor to rescind, avoid or repudiate any exercise of a right or privilege thereunder, except that such a minor not otherwise emancipated shall not be bound by any unperformed agreement to pay by promissory note or otherwise any premium on any such annuity or insurance contract.

(c) Any annuity contract or policy of life or disability insurance procured by or for a minor under subsection (b) of this section above shall be made payable either to the minor or his or her estate or to a person having an insurable interest in the life of the minor. Title 18, § 2707

TITLE 24 Professions and Occupations

Coercion prohibited.

No parent, guardian, or other person shall coerce a minor to undergo an abortion or to continue a pregnancy. Any minor who is threatened with such coercion may apply to a court of competent jurisdiction for relief. The court shall provide the minor with counsel, give the matter expedited consideration, and grant such relief as may be necessary to prevent such coercion. Should a minor be denied the financial support of her parents or legal guardian by reason of her refusal to undergo abortion or to continue a pregnancy, she shall be considered emancipated for purposes of eligibility for assistance benefits. Title 24, § 1786


For purposes of this subchapter, the following definitions will apply.

(a) “Minor” means a female person under the age of 16.

(b) “Emancipated minor” means any minor female who is or has been married or has, by court order or otherwise, been freed from the care, custody and control of her parents or any other legal guardian.

(c) “Abortion” means the use of any instrument, medicine, drug or any other substance or device to terminate the pregnancy of a woman known to be pregnant, with an intention other than to increase the probability of a live birth, to preserve the life or health of the child after live birth, or to remove a dead fetus.

(d) “Medical emergency” means that condition which, on the basis of the physician or other medically authorized person’s good faith clinical judgment, so complicates the medical condition of the pregnant minor as to necessitate the immediate abortion of her pregnancy to avert her death or for which delay will create serious risk of substantial and irreversible impairment of a major bodily function.

(e) “Coercion” means restraining or dominating the choice of a minor female by force, threat of force, or deprivation of food and shelter.

(f) “Licensed mental health professional” means a person licensed under the Division of Professional Regulation of the State as a:

(i) Psychiatrist;
(ii) Psychologist; or
(iii) Licensed professional counselor of mental health. Title 24, § 1782

Inside Delaware Emancipation of Minor Law