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Adopting in New Hampshire

Adoption in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a relatively adoption-friendly state, giving much consideration and support to the birth parents. For example, the law states Adoptive Families may provide medical, legal, counseling, reasonable living (including transportation, lodging, clothing, meals, and excluding gifts over $50) and educational expenses up to 6 weeks post-partum for the Birth Mom. The State doesn't finalize consent until 72 hours after the birth, and consent must come from birth mother and father. New Hampshire is also known as "the Switzerland of America," for its beautiful mountain scenery.

Home Study Providers in New Hampshire

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Adoption Attorneys in New Hampshire

1 Adoption Agencies in NH

1 AAAA Attorneys in NH

Academy of Adoption & Assisted Reproduction Attorneys

  • Attorney
    Margaret Cunnane Hall
    80 South Street, Unit 4
    Milford, NH 03055
    (603) 673-8323
    Services Offered Contested Adoption, Domestic Adoption, Grandparent Representation, Interstate (ICPC) Adoption, Mediation, Special Needs Children, LGBT Family Formation, Private Networking

Traveling For Your Adoption in New Hampshire

Length of ICPC
in New Hampshire

N/A days


New Hampshire adheres to the Interstate Compact On The Placement of Children (ICPC) – a uniform law in all 50 States that establishes procedures for the interstate placement of children. The ICPC also places specific responsibilities on those involved in placing the children. The three principle goals of the ICPC are to:

Protect the children being placed.
Ensure that they receive the services they need.
Facilitate permanent placements for those children who are in state custody

Adoption Law FAQ in New Hampshire

Advertising Law Info

  • Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents?
  • State Advertising Code of Law
    Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-E:39

    A child-placing agency licensed or operating under a permit issued by the Department of Health and Human Services may publish advertisements of the services for which it is specifically licensed or issued a permit under this subdivision.

    No person who is required to obtain a license or permit under this subdivision may advertise or cause to be published an advertisement soliciting or offering a child for placement unless the person has obtained the requisite license or permit.

Adoption Law Info

  • Who Can Adopt?
    A married couple jointly or an unmarried adult may adopt. A married individual may adopt without his/her spouse if the adopting parent is a stepparent, is legally separated from his/her spouse, the spouse is gone due to an unexplained absence, or if the adoptee is 18 years or older.
  • Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption?
  • Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary?
    Not addressed in state statutes.
  • What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period?
    Medical, legal, counseling, reasonable living, including transportation, lodging, clothing, meals, and excluding gifts over $50, educational expenses. 6 weeks post-partum.
  • When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic?
    After final hearing. Return not automatic. Birthparent can request hearing to decide on revocation. Must prove fraud or duress in signing surrender AND that revocation is in child’s best interest.
  • Qualifications for Adoptive Parents for adoption
    Citation: Admin. Code, HE-C 6448.13; 6448.14
    The minimum requirements for acceptance of the adoptive parent applicants shall be as follows:
    • Each adoptive parent applicant shall be at least age 18.
    • Each prospective adoptive parent shall confirm their commitment to adopt.
    • The adoptive parent applicant shall not have been convicted of child abuse or neglect or any other serious crime that would affect the ability to care for children.
    • Adoptive parent applicants, whether married or single, shall have established a stable and consistent home life in that the applicant is self-sufficient and has adequate support systems such as extended family and friends in the community who are able to assist the family.
    • The applicants shall demonstrate good physical and emotional health, with a reasonable expectation that the good health will continue throughout the minority of the child.
    • Sufficient physical space and accommodations in the home shall exist for the adoptive child.
    • The applicants shall have sufficient income to support the family and the child they wish to adopt.
    The adoptive parent applicant must complete at least 8 hours of preadoptive training during the family assessment process, prior to finalization of the adoption. The training shall cover:
    • The adoption process
    • Understanding a child's behavior
    • Grief and loss
    • Developmental stages
    • The family unit from which the child entered the adoptive process
    • The impact of adoption on the family and community
    • Race and culture

Home Study Info

  • Elements of a Home Study for Adoption
    Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:18; Admin. Code HE-C 6448.13
    The court shall require a background check in all adoption proceedings. The background check shall consist of a fingerprint-based criminal record check of national crime information databases for all prospective adoptive parents and a central registry check for all prospective adoptive parents and any other adult living in the home.
    In regulation: During the application process, the agency shall obtain:
    • A signed application
    • A signed medical statement from a licensed physician on each applicant based on an examination given within 1 year of the application
    • A financial statement that includes monthly income, monthly expenses, and assets
    • Information on the applicants’ religious preferences, if any
    • A minimum of five personal references provided by persons who have known the applicants for at least 2 years, one of whom is a relative and the remaining four unrelated to the applicant
    The family assessment shall:
    • Include at least one visit made to the home
    • Consist of individual and joint meetings, when applicable, with the couple
    • Involve all adults and children of sufficient understanding in the household
    • Include consideration of the following factors to assess the adoptive parent applicant’s compatibility with a child and any problems the adoptive parent applicants might encounter following the adoption:
    o The applicants’ motivation to adopt
    o If applicable, how the applicants have dealt with issues of their infertility
    o The applicants’ expectations of the child and preferred child characteristics
    o The applicants’ feelings about adoption and how adoption will be explained to the child
  • Grounds for Withholding Approval for Adoption
    Citation: Admin. Code, HE-C 6448.13
    If a founded child abuse or neglect report is on file for any member of the adoptive parent applicant’s household, staff of the Department of Children, Youth and Families (DCYF) in cooperation with staff from the child-placing agency shall conduct a complete review of the circumstances surrounding the report. After review, if DCYF determines that the household member poses no further threat to any child, the child-placing agency shall proceed with the application process.
  • When Home Studies Must Be Completed for Adoption
    Citation: Admin. Rules, HE-C 6448.15; HE-C 6448.13
    A child shall not be placed in an adoptive home until the home has been approved by a licensed child-placing agency or the department.
    Approved adoptive families who have waited a year for a placement shall have an annual home visit and family assessment update that includes:
    • Any changes to the original family assessment
    • Updated criminal checks for all household members
    • Updated child protective services checks for child abuse or neglect
  • Postplacement Study Requirements for Adoption
    Citation: Admin. Rules, HE-C 6448.15
    Following placement of the child, the caseworker shall:
    • Contact the adoptive family, by phone or in person, within 3 weeks of placement
    • Meet in person with the adoptive family and the child(ren) at least once every 2 months until the adoption is finalized
    • Conduct at least two of the meetings in the home of the adoptive family


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