Unregulated Custody Transfers of Adopted Children - New Hampshire

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Definitions

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170-C:5; 639:3

The petition to terminate the parent-child relationship may be granted when the court finds that the parent has abandoned the child. It shall be presumed that the parent intends to abandon the child when the child has been left by their parent in the care and custody of another person without any provision for their support or without communication from the parent for a period of 6 months.

A person is guilty of endangering the welfare of a child if they knowingly endanger the welfare of a child younger than age 18 by purposely violating a duty of care, protection, or support that they owe to the child. The placement of a child for adoption or the attempt to place a child for adoption in violation of § 170-B:33 constitutes endangering the welfare of the child.

Prohibited or Required Actions Regarding Custody

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:33

It shall be unlawful for a child's parent or legal guardian to knowingly place a child for adoption or knowingly attempt to place a child for adoption using a power of attorney or other legal document in this State, unless such parent or legal guardian follows the procedures for adoption set out in this chapter.

Exceptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Consequences

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170-B:33; 639:3

If a parent or legal guardian transfers physical custody of the child with the intent to permanently transfer physical and legal custody of the child to another and does not follow the procedures for adoption within 6 months of transferring physical custody of the child to another, they shall be deemed to have abandoned the child as described in § 170-C:5(I) and shall be guilty of endangering the welfare of a child under § 639:3.

Endangering the welfare of a child is a misdemeanor.