New Hampshire Adoption Laws

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Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170:B-23; 170:B-24

Nonidentifying information is available to:
  • The adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • The birth parents
  • The adoptive parents

Identifying information is available to:

  • The adoptee
  • The birth parents
  • Blood relatives
Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 170:B-23; 170:B-24

The department or the licensed child-placing agency may share with the adoptive parents all information it has available about the minor child being placed for adoption. The department or the licensed child-placing agency shall delete any information that would tend to identify a birth parent.

Requests for nonidentifying social or medical information may be made by an adoptee who is age 18 or older, a parent of an adoptee under the age of 18, or a birth parent.

When any person listed above submits a request for nonidentifying social or medical information, the department or agency shall disclose such information relating to the adoptee, the birth parents, or the blood relatives. The department or the agency shall delete any information from the health history or background that would tend to be identifying. Court approval is not required for information disclosed under this paragraph.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170:B-24

If the parties mutually agree to the release of identifying information, it shall be released as provided in this paragraph. Only the following people may authorize the disclosure of identifying information about an adoptee, a birth parent, or a blood relative:

  • An adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • The adoptive parents of an adoptee under age 18
  • A birth parent at the time of surrender or later

Any release may be revoked or amended at any time. The person signing the release or its revocation shall file a copy with the department or licensed child-placing agency. The department or licensed child-placing agency shall then file a copy of the release with the court that heard the adoption petition. Court approval is not required for release of identifying information when a release has been signed, and the person affirms his or her desire to be contacted.

Court approval shall be required if the parties do not agree, they cannot be contacted, or if the department or agency questions the safety of releasing information.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Rev. Stat. § 170:B-23

The original birth certificate is subject to inspection only upon written order of the court for good cause shown.

Where the Information Can Be Located

New Hampshire Department of State, Division of Vital Records

Adopted persons can obtain the birth certificate application form from:

Division of Vital Records Administration
Health & Welfare Building
29 Hazen Drive
Concord, NH 03301
(603) 271-4650
toll free: 1 (800) 852-3345. ext. 4651

or online from http://www.sos.nh.gov/vitalrecords/.

There is a $12 application fee (which applies whether or not the birth certificate can be located).


Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)

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