Domestic Infant Adoptions can be completed through an adoption agency or adoption attorney. Click here for a directory of adoption service providers in New Hampshire.
International Adoptions must be completed through an accredited adoption agency and/or attorney. Find an international adoption service provider here.
Foster Care Adoptions in New hampshire can be completed through the Department of Health and Human Services (603-271-8140).
The information contained on this website is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice. Always seek the advice of a licensed and qualified professional. While the content of this website is frequently updated, information changes rapidly and therefore, some information may be out of date, and/or contain inaccuracies, omissions or typographical errors.
Can I Adopt in New Hampshire?
Applicants must be at least 21 years old to adopt. You can be single, married, or divorced. Parents can own or rent a home. Applicants must submit a list of 5 character references. Criminal background checks as well as health/mental exams that show parents are in good health must be submitted. The home must pass a fire and safety examination. Parents must complete FACES training and participate in at least 2 home visits with a social worker. For a more complete list of licensing requirements click here.
What Adoption Regulations Exist in New Hampshire?
Advertising: Licensed child-placing agencies may publish advertisements for the services which they are legally capable of performing. § 170-E:39
Relinquishment: Parents must wait at least 72 hours after birth to give consent for adoption. Parents wishing to revoke consent must do so before the final adoption decree. They must write to the court where surrender was taken. The court must find that surrender was taken by fraud or duress and that the withdraw is in the child’s best interest. § 170-B:12
Birth parent expenses: Adoptive parents may pay on behalf of the birth mother the following expenses: reasonable counseling, medical, and legal fees, paid directly to service providers; transportation, clothing, and lodging expenses directly related to the child’s placement; living expenses to maintain an adequate standard of living when the mother is unable to work due to pregnancy; agency related adoption expenses paid directly to the agency. Living expenses may not extend past 6 weeks after pregnancy. § 170-B:13(I)
Post-adoption contact agreements: Only when the adopted child is in the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services can a contact agreement be legally enforceable in New Hampshire. § 170-B:14
Birth father rights: Unmarried fathers who register their claim to paternity with the NH Putative Father Registry gain the right to receive notice of adoption proceedings and request a hearing to prove paternity. § 170-B:6
Finalization: Out of 115 adoptions completed in 2014, the average time between TPR and adoption finalization was 8.9 months. (acf.hhs.gov)
Is Adoption Assistance Available in New Hampshire?
Many of the children waiting to be adopted in New Hampshire have special needs. Federal (Title IV-E) and state (non-IV-E) programs exist to help adoptive parents meet their child’s needs. In New Hampshire, the maximum daily amount ranges between $15-20. For more information click here.
Can I adopt a Child from another country?
It is always possible to adopt a child from another country, even if you live in the United States. Children under 18 adopted from a Hague Convention country entering the U.S. with an IH-3 visa may automatically receive U.S. citizenship.
Children adopted from a non convention country must qualify as orphans before receiving U.S. citizenship. When U.S. citizens finalize an adoption abroad, they must apply to the USCIS for an IR-3 visa for the child. An IR-3 visa classifies the child as an immigrant and provides the child with citizenship upon arrival in the States.
Readoption after a foreign adoption decree is an option but not a requirement in New Hampshire. Parents wishing to receive a State birth certificate for their adopted child must submit a validation or readoption of foreign adoption decree to the courts.
Gallery of children waiting to be adopted: https://adoption.com/photolisting?page=1&search_type=region&range=UnitedStates
State subsidy contact person:
Catherine Meister, Adoption Program Supervisor
Division for Children, Youth and Families (DCYF)
129 Pleasant St.
Concord, NH 03301-3951
603-271-8382 • fax: 603-271-4729
Adoptions in NH can be completed through the Department of Health and Human Services.
Applicants must be at least 21 years old. You can be single, married, or divorced. Parents can own or rent. Applicants must submit 5 references. Criminal background checks as well as health/mental exams must be submitted.
Licensed child-placing agencies may publish advertisements for the services which they are legally capable of performing.
Parents must wait at least 72 hours after birth to give consent. Consenting parties can revoke up until the final adoption decree.