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Circuit Court Family Division Rules Table of Contents




6.1  Scope:  The family division has jurisdiction of adoptions in conjunction with proceedings brought pursuant to RSA 169-C, RSA 170-C and RSA 463.  Hence, its jurisdiction over surrenders pursuant to RSA 170-B is similarly restricted.

6.2  In Lieu of Termination Hearing:  The surrender may be filed in lieu of the Court conducting a contested termination of parental rights hearing.  Upon approval of the surrender, the termination hearing may be cancelled.

6.3  Background Information:  Upon filing the surrender, the parent shall file information on the age and medical and personal backgrounds of the birth parents and the child.  See RSA 170-B:9, III.

6.4  Notice:  Upon filing the surrender, notice will be provided by the court by way of certified mail, return receipt requested, signed by the addressee only, to all persons entitled to receive notice as set forth in RSA 170-B:6.  If notice by certified mail is not successful, or is not likely to be successful, the court may provide notice by alternate means.

6.5  Time to Request Hearing:  Such persons shall have thirty (30) days from the date of the courtís notice to request a hearing.  Failure to make a timely request for a hearing shall result in forfeiture of any parental rights.

6.6  Proper Signing of Surrender:  The surrender must be signed by the parent in the presence of the Court, or upon prior approval of the Court, may be signed in the presence of another individual or judicial officer.

6.7  Parent Under Eighteen:  If the surrendering parent is under the age of eighteen (18), the Court may require the assent of the minorís parents or legal guardian.

6.8  Fraud or Duress:  In the absence of fraud or duress, the surrender shall be final.

6.9  Withdrawal:  A surrender may not be withdrawn unless the court is notified in writing prior to the issuance of the final decree of adoption.  An evidentiary hearing on the request to surrender shall be conducted, but the rules of evidence shall not apply and the Court shall have discretion to determine who shall be permitted at the hearing.  The Court may allow the withdrawal of the surrender only if it finds fraud or duress and that the withdrawal is in the best interests of the adoptee.   If a withdrawal of one parent is authorized, the other parent shall be notified and given an opportunity to request, within thirty (30) days, that this parentís surrender also be withdrawn.


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Circuit Court Family Division Rules Table of Contents