The Rights of Unmarried Parents - New Hampshire

Date:

Definitions

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:2

The term 'birth father' means a person or persons other than a legal other parent who has been named, pursuant to § 170-B:6, as the other parent of the child, who is the subject of a pending paternity action, or who has filed an unrevoked notice of intent to claim parentage of the child pursuant to § 170-B:6.

The term 'legal father' includes the following:

  • The person designated as the other parent pursuant to § 5-C:24 on that child's birth certificate
  • The person designated as the other parent pursuant to a court order resulting from a parentage action
  • The person designated as the other parent upon legitimation pursuant to § 457:42
  • The person who was determined by the court to be married to the birth parent at the time of conception, birth, or any time between conception and birth

The term 'parent' includes birth parent, birth other parent, legal other parent, or adoptive parent, but the term shall not include a person as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated by judicial decree or voluntarily surrender.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:6

A person who claims to be the other parent and who has registered his claim of parentage with the Office of Child Support Services in what shall be known as the New Hampshire Putative Father Registry or in the putative father registry of the State where the child was born shall be given notice by the court of an adoption and shall have the right to request a hearing to prove parentage.

The registration form filed with the appropriate putative father registry may be filed prior to the birth of the child but shall be filed prior to the birth parent's parental rights being surrendered or involuntarily terminated. Failure to register with the appropriate putative father registry prior to this time shall bar the alleged other parent from thereafter bringing an action to establish parentage of the child and shall constitute an abandonment of the child and a waiver of any right to a notice of hearing in any adoption proceeding concerning the child.

Any person entitled to notice from the court shall have 30 days from the date of the court's notice to request a hearing at which they shall have the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that they are the legal parent or birth genetic parent of the child. The failure to request such hearing within 30 days from the date of the court's notice shall result in a forfeiture of all parental rights and any right to notice by the court of any adoption proceedings concerning the child.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 168-A:2; 5-C:24

Parentage shall be established upon the filing of either of the following:

  • A petition to the superior court by the birth parent, putative other parent, child, or public authority chargeable by law with the support of the child and the granting of such petition by the court
  • An affidavit of parentage with the clerk of the town where the birth of the child occurred that shall have the legal effect of establishing parentage without requiring further action pursuant to this chapter, unless rescinded pursuant to § 5-C:28

In the case of a child born in New Hampshire whose parentage has not been established by means of an affidavit of parentage, the birth parent or the natural other parent may initiate a request for an acknowledgment of parentage.

When an unwed birth parent applies to the clerk of a town or city wishing to add the name of the other parent to their child's birth record, the following shall apply:

  • The affidavit of parentage shall be executed prior to the child's 18th birthday.
  • The natural other parent to be named shall personally sign the affidavit.
  • If signed separately, each signature shall be separately notarized.

Required Information

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 5-C:25

Parents shall include the following information when completing an affidavit of parentage:

  • Information about the child, including the following:
    • The child's first, middle, and last names
    • The child's city or town and State of birth
    • The child's date of birth
    • The child's name as it appears on the birth record
    • The child's Social Security number, if known
    • Whether the child is living
    • The child's date and place of death, if applicable
  • Information about and signature of the child's other parent, including the following:
    • Their full name and date of birth
    • Their State of birth, Social Security number, and address
    • Their signature and date signed, unless the other parent is a minor, in which case, their parent or guardian's signature
  • Information about and signature of the child's birth parent, including the following:
    • Their birth last name
    • Their address and Social Security number
    • If the birth parent is a minor, their parent's or guardian's signature
    • The date signed
  • When the birth parent's spouse agrees that they are not the child's other parent, the following information about the spouse:
    • The spouse's name
    • Their address and Social Security number
    • Their signature and date signed, unless the spouse is a minor, in which case their parent's or guardian's signature shall be obtained
  • The notarized signatures of the child's other parent; birth parent; and, if they are not the child's other parent, the birth parent's spouse, including the date signed and the date the notary's commission expires
  • Certification of the hospital or birthing center, including the name and signature of the preparer and date signed, and the name and the address of the hospital or birthing facility

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 5-C:28

A parent or legal guardian may request to rescind an affidavit of parentage from the clerk of the city or town where the birth occurred within 60 days of the filing of an affidavit of parentage unless an administrative or judicial proceeding related to the child results in an earlier date.

Once the completed rescission of parentage form is filed, the clerk of the town or city shall remove the name of the other parent from the birth record and insert 'not stated' in the space provided for the other parent's name or, if the original birth record was filed prior to the completion of an affidavit of parentage, change the child's name on the birth record back to the name stated on the original record before the affidavit of parentage was filed.

After the 60-day rescission period has passed, any challenge to the affidavit shall be decided only by a court of competent jurisdiction.

Access to Information

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 5-C:28

The clerk of the city or town where the birth occurred shall distribute the rescission of parentage to the following:

  • The birth parent
  • The other parent named on the affidavit of parentage
  • The parent or legal guardian of the minor signatory as stated on the affidavit of parentage
  • The Division of Vital Records Administration
  • The Department of Health and Human Services
  • The spouse if a three-party affidavit of parentage was completed
  • The hospital that was the originator of the affidavit of parentage, if applicable