Placement of Children With Relatives - New Hampshire

Date: September 2022

Relative Placement for Foster Care and Guardianship

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 169-C:3; 169-C:19

The term 'relative' means parent, grandparent, sibling, stepparent, stepsibling, parents' siblings and their adult children, or first and second cousins. Legal custody may be transferred to a child-placing agency or relative.

Requirements for Placement with Relatives

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 169-C:19

No child shall be placed with a relative until a written social study of the relative's home, conducted by a child-placing agency, is submitted to the court.

Requirements for Placement of Siblings

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 169-C:19-d; Admin. Code He-C 6448.10

The court shall ensure, whenever reasonable and practical and based on a determination of the best interests of the child, that children who have an existing relationship with siblings and who are separated from their siblings as a result of a court decree, court order, consent order, or court-recommended placement, including, but not limited to, placement in foster homes or in the homes of parents or extended family members, have access to and visiting rights with such siblings throughout the duration of such placement, and subsequent to such placement if the children or their siblings are separated by long-term or short-term foster care placement.

Relatives Who May Adopt

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 170-B:2

The term 'related child' means a child who is related within the second degree of kinship either by blood or affinity. Relatives within the second degree include stepparents, siblings, grandparents, or parents' siblings.

Requirements for Adoption by Relatives

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 170-B:18; Admin. Rules HE-C 6448.17

In the adoption of a related minor child, the court may proceed to a hearing and a decree without an assessment when both of the following circumstances are met:

  • The parents of the minor child have surrendered their parental rights, the parents of the minor are deceased, or the parents' parental rights have been terminated.
  • The minor child has resided with the petitioners to whom the child is related for at least 2 consecutive years prior to filing the petition for adoption.

The court shall require a background check in all private adoption proceedings if there has not been an assessment. The background check will include both a criminal records check conducted by the New Hampshire State police and a search of the abuse and neglect registry maintained by the Department of Health and Human Services. If the court has information that the petitioner has lived in another State, the court may also request a search of that State's abuse and neglect registry.

In regulation: Preadoptive training shall be optional when the adoptive parent applicant is a relative of the child who has lived with the child for at least 6 months.