Start your research with this quick-reference, and confirm any updates with your local representation.
More in depth information is provided on our Adoption Laws By State page.
Our use of the terms “putting up” or “giving up” does not reflect how we feel about adoptive placement. These terms remain the most widely used search terms for those who are considering adoption for their baby, and we wish to reach all who seek this important information.
How to Adopt in New Hampshire
New Hampshire isn't just the birthplace of Segway; it's also the birthplace of many children up for adoption and home to many families seeking adoption opportunities and resources to begin their journey. Whether you are looking to adopt, looking to place your child for adoption, or searching for information about home studies and where to begin the process, the following information will be your guide to all things adoption in New Hampshire.
What you need to know about adopting a baby in New Hampshire
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a clear criminal background check
- Have a clear child abuse and neglect history check
- Have sufficient income to support the child
- Whether single or married, have an established household and support system of at least 2 years
- Have good mental and physical health, with expected good health through the adoptees childhood
- Have sufficient space and safety accommodations in the home
- Have a maximum of 5 children in a single-parent home and 7 children for a couple
- Complete 8 hours of preservice training
How much does it cost to adopt a baby in New Hampshire?
- Reasonable expenses for adoption services by an agency
- Legal fees
- Counseling services
- Medical bills
- Living expenses for the Birth Mom up to 6 weeks after she gives birth to the child
- Reasonable expenses for transportation, housing, clothing, and meals
Expenses not allowed include education for the Birth Parents, gifts of more than a $50 value, and other direct payments to the Birth Parents in exchange for the adoption.
How do you become a Foster Parent in New Hampshire?
- Be single, married, divorced or widowed
- Own or rent a home
- Have previous parenting experience or none at all
- Already have children in your care or none at all
What you need to know about placing your baby for adoption in New Hampshire
If you are considering placing your child for adoption, understanding how the adoption process works as well as knowing your rights may relieve some of your worry. Here are a few things to know when considering adoption for your child in New Hampshire.
Who must consent to an adoption in New Hampshire?
- The Birth Mom, and her legal guardian if she is under 18
- The legal Father, and his legal guardian if he is under 18
- The Birth Father, and his legal guardian if he is under 18
- The legal guardian of the child if both parents have died or surrendered their parental rights
- The department or adoption agency having custody of the child
- The adoptee if they are at least 14 years old
When is consent not necessary for adoption in New Hampshire?
- An Alleged Father who is found to not be the Birth Father
- A parent whose rights have been terminated
- The parent of the adoptee if the adoptee is an adult
- A Birth Father who has been convicted of a sexual offense that lead to the conception of the child
How and when can Birth Parents consent to adoption in New Hampshire?
Consent to adoption may not be given until at least 72 hours after the child is born.
- Whether the adoptee is a Native American child
- Whether the Birth Parent knows the identity of the Adoptive Parents
- That the parent has been informed of counseling services and provided legal counsel
- An acknowledgment that the surrender is final and may not be revoked
- An acknowledgement that all parental obligations, other than accrued child support, will be extinguished
- That the parent has not received or been promised any money or anything of value for the surrender except for permissible payments
- That the parent has read and understands the terms of the consent and still wishes it to take effect
Can a Birth Parent revoke their consent to adoption in New Hampshire?
- The consent was obtained under fraud or duress
- The revocation is in the best interest of the child
What rights do Birth Fathers have in the adoption process in New Hampshire?
The term ‘Birth Father’ means a person or persons other than a Legal Father who has been named as the Father of the child, or who is the subject of a pending paternity action, or who has filed an unrevoked notice of intent to claim paternity of the child.
- The person designated as the Father on that child’s birth certificate
- The person designated as the Father pursuant to a court order resulting from a paternity action
- The person designated as the Father upon legitimation
- The person who was determined by the court to be married to the Birth Mother at the time of conception, birth, or any time between conception and birth
In New Hampshire, a Putative Father Registry has been established to give unmarried men who want to establish paternity and parental rights of a child the right to receive notice of adoption proceedings and the opportunity to prove their paternity. For entry to the registry to be valid, a man must register before the Birth Mother surrenders her parental rights.
Home study and Post Placement Requirements in New Hampshire
Prospective Adoptive Parents in New Hampshire are required to complete home study before beginning the adoption process and a postplacement assessment after the adoption takes place. Both will assess your ability to provide a safe and stable environment for the child you wish to adopt.
What is a home study and what happens during the process?
The home study is a critical component to the adoption process. While it is to ensure your home will provide a child with stability, safety, and support, it is also a resource for Prospective Adoptive Parents to ask questions and prepare for the adoption. A home study is ultimately a recommendation as to the fitness of the applicants to become Adoptive Parents.
- A signed application
- Financial statements to include income, expenses and assets
- A medical examination within the previous 6 months
- The applicants’ religious preference, if any
- At least 5 references from people who have known the applicants at least 2 years, 1 of which may be a family member
- At least 1 home visit
- Individual and joint interviews with the applicants
- All members of the household
- The reason for choosing adoption
- How the couple has dealt with their infertility, if applicable
- The family’s feeling about the adoption
- How the applicants will explain the adoption to the child
In New Hampshire, a home study will be conducted by a child-placing agency and will assess the Prospective Parents and all members currently living in the home.
Why would my home study not be approved in New Hampshire?
Is a home study different for stepparent or relative adoptions in New Hampshire?
What are the home study requirements for adopting a baby from another state?
Any out-of-home placement of a child outside the State is subject to the provisions of the Interstate Compact on the Placement of Children.
What is a post placement requirement and what happens during the process?
Before the adoption has been finalized, a post placement assessment will take place to ensure the transition into adoption is going well and that the Adoptive Family's circumstances have not changed to no longer fit the child's best interest.
- Contact the Adoptive Family within the first 3 weeks of the child being placed into the home
- Meet in person with the Adoptive Family at least once every two months until the adoption is finalized
- Conduct at least 2 in-home visits
New Hampshire Adoption Agencies and Professionals
New Hampshire is home to some amazing adoption professionals who are ready to get your journey started. Whether you are interested in adopting a child or seeking resources to place your child for adoption, these professionals will guide you through the legal pathways and offer you support throughout your journey:Adoptive Families for Children
603-686-7716New Hope for Children
603-842-4794Bethany Christian Services
Things to do in New Hampshire
If you find yourself in New Hampshire waiting to meet your new child or to finalize the adoption process, spend some time visiting the states popular sites:
Franconia Notch State Park in Franconia
Mount Washington Observatory Weather Discovery Center in North Conway
Market Square in Portsmouth
Kancamagus Highway in North Conway
The Mount Washington Cog Railway in North Conway
A note from Adoption Network Law Center
No matter your decision, we appreciate the time you have taken to read about how to adopt in New Hampshire. Adoption Network Law Center wishes you the best of luck and is available to answer any further questions you may have about the adoption process. Call 1-866-602-9541 to speak with one of our amazing team members or visit https://adoptionnetwork.com/ to read more about our services. Whether you’re a soon-to-be Birth Parent or Prospective Adoptive Parent, ANLC wishes you the best on your adoption journey.