New Hampshire Adoption Laws

The adoption process, restrictions, and requirements for adults who wish to adopt a child (or an adult, in some cases) are regulated at the state level. In some cases, such as surrogate mother arrangements, the adoption follows a court-ordered termination of parental rights decree that ends the child's legal relationship with his or her birth mother. States generally allow any child in need of a permanent home to be adopted by an eligible adult, although children above a certain age usually have a say in the decision or must consent to the adoption.

Additionally, most states require "home residency" or "home study" process before the adoption is finalized as a transition period for both the child and adoptive parents. This is important not only to help all parties adjust to the new arrangement, but also to make sure the child is in a nurturing environment. The home residency typically lasts about six months.

New Hampshire Adoption Laws at a Glance

As in most other states, any person may be adopted in New Hampshire, while anyone over the age of 18 may petition the court to adopt a child (other than one's spouse). To learn more about adoption and children available for adoption or foster care in New Hampshire, see the Foster Care & Adoption Services section at the Dept. of Health and Human Services Website.

The following table lists additional details of adoption laws in New Hampshire. See FindLaw's Adoption section for more articles and resources.

Code Section 170-B, et seq.; No
Who May Be Adopted Any person
Age that Child's Consent Needed 14 years and older
Who May Adopt Any person age 18 or older may petition to adopt any other individual except his or her spouse. Failure to join spouse to petition must be excused (unless other spouse is parent of person to be adopted and consents to adoption).
Home Residency Required Prior to Finalization of Adoption? 6 months
State Agency/Court Dept. of Health and Human Services/Probate
Statute of Limitations to Challenge 1 year

Note: State laws are always subject to change with the enactment of newly signed legislation, decisions from higher courts, and other means. You should contact a New Hampshire adoption attorney or conduct your own legal research to verify the state law(s) you are researching.

Research the Law

New Hampshire Adoption Laws: Related Resources

Next Steps: Search for a Local Attorney

Contact a qualified attorney.