Consent to Adoption - New Hampshire

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Who Must Consent to an Adoption

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:5

A surrender of parental rights shall be obtained from the following:

  • The birth mother, provided that if she is under age 18, the court may require the assent of her parents or legal guardian
  • The legal father, provided that if he is under age 18, the court may require the assent of his parents or legal guardian
  • The birth father, provided that he was found to be entitled to notice and that if he is under age 18, the court may require the assent of his parents or legal guardian
  • The legal guardian of the child if both birth parents are deceased or have surrendered their rights
  • The department or any licensed child-placing agency that may been given the care, custody, and control of the child

Consent of Child Being Adopted

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:3

If the child is age 14 or older, he or she must assent to the adoption unless the court determines that it is not in the best interests of the child to require assent. Such an assent shall be executed by the child in writing and signed in the presence of the court in which the petition for adoption has been filed.

When Parental Consent is not Needed

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:7

Surrender of parental rights is not required of the following:

  • The alleged father who has not met the requirements of § 170-B:5(I) or § 170-B:6
  • A parent whose parental rights have been voluntarily or involuntarily terminated by a court in another State
  • An alleged father who is found not to be the father
  • Any parent of the adopted person if the adopted person is an adult
  • A parent whose parental rights have been terminated
  • An alleged father who is convicted of an offense under §§ 632-A:2, 632-A:3, 632-A:4, or 639:2 that resulted in the conception of the child
  • Parents whose parental rights have been determined to be voluntarily or involuntarily terminated by the proper authorities in another country, such determination to be evidenced by documentation issued by the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. Department of State and deemed acceptable by probate court rule
  • Any parent of the adoptee with whom the petitioner and that parent intend to share parenting responsibilities

When Consent Can Be Executed

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:8

No surrender shall be taken until a passage of a minimum of 72 hours after the birth of the child.

How Consent Must Be Executed

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170-B:9; 170-B:10

A surrender by a parent shall be executed in writing and signed by the parent in the presence of the court of the county in which the parent resides. If the parent is under age 18, the court may require the assent of the minor's parents or legal guardian. If the parent is a nonresident, the surrender may be taken in the State in which the parent resides.

A surrender executed by the department or an agency shall be in writing and signed by the executive head or other authorized representative in the presence of a person authorized to take acknowledgments.

A surrender shall state that the person executing the surrender document acknowledges that the person's parental rights over the child will cease upon the court's approval of the surrender. A surrender shall further state the following:

  • An acknowledgment that after the surrender is executed, it is final and, except as noted below, may not be revoked for any reason, including the failure of an adoptive parent to comply with an arrangement with the birth parent for postsurrender contact
  • An acknowledgment that the surrender will extinguish all parental obligations except the obligation to pay any accrued unpaid child support
  • That the parent has been informed of counseling services and been provided legal counsel
  • That the parent has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the surrender except for permissible payments
  • Whether the parent has been informed of the identity of the adoptive parents
  • Whether the child is an Indian child
  • Whether the parent wishes to be notified that a final decree of adoption has been entered
  • That the parent has read and understands the content of the document and wishes the surrender to take effect

Revocation of Consent

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:12

A parent wishing to withdraw a surrender shall notify the court where the surrender was taken in writing. Notification shall be prior to the entry of the final decree. A surrender may not be withdrawn unless the court finds the following:

  • The parent seeking to withdraw his or her surrender has proven by a preponderance of evidence that the surrender was obtained by fraud or duress.
  • The withdrawal of the surrender is in the best interests of the child. In making this determination, the court may consider every facet of each parent's life.

The court shall notify any other party that has surrendered rights to the child of the issuance of its order granting the withdrawal of such surrender. The party shall have 30 days from the date of the register's notice of decision to request in writing to the court that his or her surrender be withdrawn as well. The 30-day time period to file such a request shall not be extended by the court absent a showing of good cause.

A surrender may not be withdrawn after the entry of the final decree of adoption for any reason.