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How to Adopt in New Hampshire

It may be among the smallest states in the nation, but that hasn’t stopped countless families from growing through adoption in New Hampshire. If you are considering adoption as prospective adoptive parents or an expectant mother in New Hampshire, you likely have questions about local adoption laws and processes. Whether you live in Manchester, Nashua, Concord, or anywhere else in the state, the following information provides an overview of the information you need to start the adoption process.

Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Adopting a Child in New Hampshire

Each state has laws dictating who may adopt a child, how to become eligible to adopt, how to pay birth parent expenses, and more. The following sections will give you the information you need as a hopeful adoptive parent in New Hampshire.

What are the laws and qualifications for adopting a child in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, any individual may adopt a child.  If the person is married, then the couple must adopt jointly unless:

  • They are legally separated
  • The adopting parent is a stepparent
  • The court waives the requirement
  • The adopted person is over 18 and the spouse gives consent

What adoption expenses can be paid by adoptive families in New Hampshire?

In New Hampshire, the following birth parent expenses may be paid by an adoptive family:

  • Fees for transportation or accommodation related to the adoption
  • Counseling services
  • Medical and legal expenses
  • Living expenses that compensate for wages lost during pregnancy or delivery
  • Fees for additional services from an adoption agency

These expenses can be paid for up to 6 weeks after delivery.

What are the laws to become a foster parent in New Hampshire?

In order to become a foster parent in New Hampshire, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Own or rent a home
  • Complete a home study and criminal records checks for household members over 17 years of age
  • Provide five references
  • Submit statements of good health
  • Complete Foster & Adoptive Care Essentials (FACES) training

Visit the New Hampshire Department of Health and Human Services to learn more about become a foster parent in your state.

What are the requirements to finalize an international adoption in New Hampshire?

If a New Hampshire court determines a foreign adoption decree valid, then they may issue a U.S. adoption decree. After completing a re-adoption, parents may apply for a new birth certificate for their child by submitting an application. This application should contain your county court information as well as all available information on the child.

Is it legal to use advertising or facilitators to adopt in New Hampshire?

Adoption advertisements may be published by a licensed, child-placing agency. There are no laws regarding the use of adoption facilitators.

Laws, Rules and Qualifications for Placing a Baby for Adoption in New Hampshire

If you are a woman considering adoption for your unborn baby, there are laws and regulations in place to protect your rights throughout the process. Read on to learn how to place a baby for adoption in New Hampshire.

When and how can birth parents consent to the adoption?

Legal consent may not be executed until 72 hours after the birth of the child. After 72 hours have passed, a parent may relinquish parental rights in writing, signed in the present of a local court. Relinquishment forms will include the following:

  • Acknowledgment that the adoption has taken place and may not be revoked except for in specific circumstances
  • A statement that the parent has had counseling services available
  • Information on whether the child is of Native American heritage
  • A statement that the parent was not promised payment for adoption
  • Whether or not the parent will be notified of a final adoption decree
  • Whether the birth parent knows the identity of the adoptive parents
  • Confirmation that the parent has read the content of the relinquishment papers

Who must consent to the adoption?

The following parties must consent to an adoption when applicable:

  • The birth mother (and parents if under 18)
  • The birth father (and parents if under 18)
  • The legal father
  • The legal guardian of a child whose parents are deceased of have had their rights terminated
  • A child-placing agency that has been given custody of a child

When is consent not needed?

Consent will not be required of parents who:

  • Do not meet the state requirements of a father
  • Have had their parental rights terminated
  • Were an alleged father and found not to be the father
  • Are the parents of an adult adoptee
  • Have committed an offense that resulted in the birth of the child

When does the birth parents’ consent become irrevocable?

After the final adoption decree has been submitted, consent to an adoption may not be withdrawn.

What rights does the father of the baby have in New Hampshire adoptions?

New Hampshire defines a birth father as a person other than a legal father who has been named the father of a child. A legal father is recognized by a court as the child’s father and listed on the birth certificate.
Any man who has registered a claim of paternity with the Office of Child Services will be notified in the event of an adoption. He will be asked to appear in court to prove his paternity at that point.
Paternity may also be established by filing a petition to the court.

Home Study and Post-Placement Requirements in New Hampshire

All adoptive parents must complete a home study in order to adopt, and each state has different home study requirements. Here, you can find out how to complete a New Hampshire home study and be cleared to adopt.

What is included in the New Hampshire home study process?

The New Hampshire home study will consist of the following documentation and assessments:

  • A signed application
  • A signed statement of good health current within one year
  • Religious affiliation
  • At leave five references
  • Proof of income
  • A home visit
  • Individual and joint interviews
  • Assessment of the family’s reasons for adoption, feelings about adoption, and expectations for adoption

Who is included in the home study process?

The home study will assess the adoptive parents as well as all other members of the household.

Who will conduct the home study?

New Hampshire home studies must be conducted by a licensed child-placing agency.

When must the home study be completed? When does the home study need to be updated?

A home study must be completed before a child can be placed in an adoptive family’s home. A New If you are considering adoption as prospective adoptive parents or an expectant mother in Virginia, you likely have questions about local adoption laws and processes. Whether you live in Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Richmond, or anywhere else in the state, the following information provides an overview of the information you need to start the adoption process.Hampshire home study is valid for one year, after which it must be updated.

On what grounds will the home study not be approved in New Hampshire?

A New Hampshire home study may be denied if the family has a child abuse or neglect report in their background check. The Department of Children, Youth and Families will conduct a review to determine of the family may proceed with an adoption.

What is a post-placement study in the adoption process? What are the post-placement study requirements for New Hampshire?

A post-placement study is a follow-up assessment conducted by a home study provider after the placement of a child in an adoptive home. The post-placement assessment will include:

  • Communication with the family within 3 weeks of placement
  • Meetings with the family and child every 2 months prior to finalization
  • At least 2 meetings at the family’s home

What are the home study requirements for stepparent or relative adoptions in New Hampshire?

Relatives and stepparents in New Hampshire may have fewer requirements to adopt a child in their care. A court may determine that a stepparent does not need to go through a home study, and adoptive parent training is sometimes optional for relative adoptions.

What are the home study requirements to adopt a child from another state?

All interstate adoptions are subject to the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children (ICPC). As a result, a child may not be taken to a receiving state until that state notifies the New Hampshire agency that the adoption is approved.

What are the pre-placement requirements to adopt a child that is currently in my care?

New Hampshire statutes do not address foster-to-adopt placements. Visit Adopt US Kids for more information on foster care in your state.
Below, you can find the information on New Hampshire licensed home study providers:

  • New Hope for Children
    This private practice is licensed to provide home studies, post-placement assessments, and adoption counseling for anyone pursuing adoption in New Hampshire.

Visit 1800HomeStudy.com to learn more about New Hampshire home study providers.

New Hampshire Adoption Professionals

In order to complete an adoption in New Hampshire, you must work with an adoption professional licensed in the state. Here, you can find the contact information for adoption agencies licensed in New Hampshire:

Things to do in New Hampshire

You may find yourself in the state of New Hampshire visiting birth parents or waiting for ICPC clearance. While you are there, here are some of the places you can visit in the state:

See Visit NH to learn more about what you can do during your time in New Hampshire.

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