Parentage in New Hampshire
Update – July 20, 2020: Victory! Governor Sununu signed HB 1162 into law! Read GLAD’s statement here.
All children deserve to have their relationship to their parents legally recognized and protected, no matter how their families are formed.
“House Bill 1162 is a straightforward solution to the current gap in two statutes, which will ensure that more children have legal relationships with their parents. In a recent decision, the New Hampshire Supreme Court drew attention to the anachronistic omission of unmarried couples from the adoption statute. HB 1162 fixes the problem highlighted by the court by allowing two co-parents to adopt a child jointly, without respect to their marital status.
The confirmatory adoption provision [provides] a means for a couple to obtain a court order or a confirmatory adoption where the child was conceived via assisted reproduction. Confirmatory adoption is recommended for any same-sex parent who is not the biological parent of the child, even if the parent is named on the birth certificate.”
Staff Attorney Chris Erchull’s February 4, 2020 testimony before the House Committee on Health, Human Services and Elderly Affairs can be read here.
On December 2, 2019, the New Hampshire legislation introduced House Bill 1162, An Act Relative to Adoption and Parentage, which updates language in parentage law in favor of gender-neutral and inclusive terms. This bill expands the categories of individuals eligible to adopt and clarifies adoption and parenting laws for unmarried couples who share parenting responsibilities and for families formed through assisted reproduction.
In July, 2020 the Senate and House voted to pass HB 1162. Governor Sununu signed the legislation into law on July 20, 2020, ensuring expanded access to adoption, particularly for children of LGBTQ parents, for families across New Hampshire.