New Hampshire Expands Access to Parentage Protections

On Monday, July 19th Governor Chris Sununu signed into law House Bill 1162 which modernizes New Hampshire’s adoption law and expands access to parentage orders for families created through donor conception. Attorney Chrissy Hanisco drafted the legislation with input from local attorneys, as well as from Attorneys Polly Crozier and Chris Erchull of GLBTQ Legal Advocates & Defenders and ACLU of New Hampshire’s Political Director Jeanne Hruska and Trans Justice Organizer Palana Belken. The law makes three significant changes: first, it allows unmarried couples to adopt, including in stepparent situations; second, it allows LGTBQ+ parents to obtain a confirmatory adoption for the non-genetic parent regardless of their marital status; and third it allows nongenetic parents who conceived using donor gametes the ability to obtain a parentage order.  These changes will give legal security to children by issuing judicial decrees that must be given full faith and credit outside of New Hampshire.

“Establishing the bond of parentage – the legal connection between a child and their parents –  is core to a child’s stability and security,” said Attorney Chrissy Hanisco, adoption and assisted reproduction practitioner at the Stein Law Firm, PLLC. “All New Hampshire children deserve to have access to that security, whether born through donor conception or if they lost parents from the opioid crisis or other circumstances. Adoption is one important route to create legally-affirmed parent-child relationships. This law removes outdated barriers to adoption and parentage judgments that have for too long left some children and families vulnerable, with no path to establish that critical connection.”

Attorney Hanisco wishes to thank Representative Ed Butler who once again championed the rights of children and families, secured bipartisan support in both chambers, and shepherded the bill through a highly unique legislative session!