New Hampshire House Stalls Bill That Would Have Increased Family Security

Last night the New Hampshire House voted 187 – 178 to indefinitely postpone SB 422, a bill that would have provided greater security to New Hampshire children and families. 

GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders Director of Family Advocacy Polly Crozier issued the following statement:

Last night the House failed New Hampshire families. SB 422 is a common-sense bill that would have provided greater security to Granite State children and families by ensuring more families could affirm their legal parentage status at birth. Recognition of legal parentage is critical to children’s well-being and security across their lifetimes. This bill had broad support including from local family law practitioners and the New Hampshire Hospital Association, as well as deep engagement from the New Hampshire Bureau of Child Support Services.

For decades, unmarried different-sex parents have been able to sign a simple administrative form – called a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (VAP) – in the hospital when a child is born – ensuring the child is legally connected to both parents. Every state is required to have this simple voluntary process to establish parentage, and numerous other states have ensured that children born through assisted reproduction can secure their parentage alongside other children. It is an important procedural protection and does nothing to change the substance of New Hampshire parentage law. As a result of the House’s misguided vote, this important and affordable path to legal parentage remains out of reach for children born through assisted reproduction in New Hampshire, including LGBTQ+ families. 

By voting to indefinitely postpone SB 422 the House has assured New Hampshire remains out of alignment with federal child support guidance and all other New England states, has left New Hampshire courts overburdened with unnecessary cases, and has left many New Hampshire children and families vulnerable.