New Hampshire

New Hampshire

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170:B-23; 170:B-24Nonidentifying information is available to:

  • The adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • The birth parents
  • The adoptive parents

Identifying information is available to:

  • The adopted person
  • The birth parents
  • Blood relatives

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170:B-23; 170:B-24

The department or the licensed child-placing agency may share with the adoptive parents all information it has available about the minor child being placed for adoption. The department or the licensed child-placing agency shall delete any information that would tend to identify a birth parent.Requests for nonidentifying social or medical information may be made by an adopted person who is age 18 or older, a parent of an adopted person under the age of 18, or a birth parent.

When any person listed above submits a request for nonidentifying social or medical information, the department or agency shall disclose such information relating to the adopted person, the birth parents, or the blood relatives. The department or the agency shall delete any information from the health history or background that would tend to be identifying. Court approval is not required for information disclosed under this paragraph.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170:B-24

If the parties mutually agree to the release of identifying information, it shall be released as provided in this paragraph. Only the following people may authorize the disclosure of identifying information about an adopted person, a birth parent, or a blood relative:

  • An adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • The adoptive parents of an adopted person under age 18
  • A birth parent at the time of surrender or later

Any release may be revoked or amended at any time. The person signing the release or its revocation shall file a copy with the department or licensed child-placing agency. The department or licensed child-placing agency shall then file a copy of the release with the court that heard the adoption petition. Court approval is not required for release of identifying information when a release has been signed, and the person affirms his or her desire to be contacted.

Court approval shall be required if the parties do not agree, if they cannot be contacted, or if the department or agency questions the safety of releasing information.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170:B-23

The original birth certificate is subject to inspection only upon written order of the court for good cause shown.

Where the Information Can Be Located

New Hampshire Department of State, Division of Vital Records

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Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:9
Information about the family shall be provided by the birth parent.Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170-B:9; 170-B:10
Any parent surrendering parental rights shall file with the court information on the age and medical and personal backgrounds of the child. Such personal information may include, but not be limited to, ethnic and religious background, as is reasonably known.A surrender of parental rights shall state whether the child is an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C.§ Section 1901, et seq.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170-B:9; 170-B:10
Any parent surrendering parental rights shall file with the court information on the age and medical and personal backgrounds of the child. Such personal information may include but not be limited to ethnic and religious background, as is reasonably known.

A surrender of parental rights shall state whether the child is an Indian child as defined in the Indian Child Welfare Act, 25 U.S.C. § Section 1901, et seq.

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:9
The family information shall be filed with the instrument surrendering parental rights.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Childrenpublication.

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:25
Upon the issuance of a final decree of adoption, all reciprocal rights of inheritance between the adopted person and the adopted person’s birth parents and their respective collateral or lineal relatives shall contemporaneously cease.When the adoptive parent is a stepparent, married to a birth parent, the child’s relationship to such child’s birth parent shall in no way be altered by reason of the adoption.Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:25
Upon the issuance of a final decree of adoption, all reciprocal rights of inheritance between the adopted person and the adoptive parent(s) and their respective collateral or lineal relatives shall contemporaneously begin.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170-B:25; 551:10
The rights of a child adopted after the making of a will by the adoptive parent or parents shall be the same as the rights of an after-born child.

Every child born after the death of the testator, and every child or issue of a child of the deceased parent not named or referred to in his or her will, and who is not a devisee or legatee, shall be entitled to the same portion of the estate, real and personal, as he or she would be if the deceased parent were intestate.

 

State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:29A decree of court establishing the relationship of parent and child by adoption issued pursuant to due process of law by a court of any other jurisdiction within or without the United States shall be recognized in this State, and the rights and obligations of the parties as to matters within the jurisdiction of this State shall be determined as though the decree was issued by a court of this State.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170-B:27(II)

The court may validate and issue an adoption decree for an adoption finalized in another jurisdiction, provided that evidence satisfactory to the court is produced to demonstrate the validity of such adoption. For the purposes of this paragraph, satisfactory evidence includes documentation from the U.S. Department of Justice or the U.S. Department of State that a legal adoption has been completed in another country. Probate court rules shall specify such acceptable documentation.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 5-C:34

The registrar shall establish a New Hampshire certificate of foreign birth for a person born in a foreign country and for whom a final decree of adoption has been issued by a court of competent jurisdiction in New Hampshire. This certificate of foreign birth shall be established and registered and a certified copy of such certificate issued when the registrar receives a request from the adoptive parents or adoptee if he or she is age 18 or older.A completed application shall include:

  • The county of the probate court
  • The name of the child prior to adoption
  • The names of the adoptive parents
  • The date the adoption was approved by the probate court
  • The full name of the child after adoption
  • The child’s sex and date of birth
  • The city or town, the state or local equivalent, and the country of the child’s place of birth
  • Information from both adoptive parents, or one parent in the case where only one parent is adopting, including each parent’s full name, the full maiden name of the adoptive mother, if applicable, each parent’s date and place of birth, each parent’s residence address, each parent’s signature, and the date signed
  • The signature of a justice of the peace or the signature and seal of a notary public

The applicant shall attach the following documents to the completed application:

  • A report of adoption, as required by § 170-B:22
  • A certified copy of the original adoption decree
  • The child’s alien registration card
  • The documents used to establish the date and place of birth, such as an English translation of the original birth certificate, a copy of an adoption report from the adoption agency, or any report issued by the government of the country of birth describing facts known regarding the origin of the child

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