PUBLIC SAFETY AND WELFARE
I. The petitioner and the adoptee shall appear at the hearing on the petition, unless the presence of either is excused by the court for good cause shown.
II. The court may continue the hearing from time to time to permit further observation, assessment, or consideration of any facts or circumstances affecting the granting of the petition.
III. In the case of an adult adoptee, if at the conclusion of the hearing, the court determines that the required assents as required by RSA 170-B:3 have been obtained and the adoption is in the adoptee's best interests, the court may issue a final decree of adoption.
IV. In the case of a minor adoptee, if at the conclusion of the hearing the court determines that the required surrenders have been obtained or excused and that the adoption is in the best interest of the adoptee, it:
(a) May issue a final decree of adoption, where one of the adoptee's parents will remain a parent;
(b) May issue a final decree of adoption in the adoption of a related minor child pursuant to RSA 170-B:18, V; or
(c) Shall issue an interlocutory decree of adoption which shall not become final until the minor adoptee has lived in the adoptive home for at least 6 months after placement by an agency or the department or for at least 6 months after the department or the court has been informed of the custody of the minor by the petitioner, and the department or a licensed child-placing agency has had an opportunity to observe or investigate the adoptive home.
V. Before a final decree of adoption is issued in the adoption of a minor child not related to the petitioner or one of the petitioners, the petitioners shall file with the court on forms supplied by the department an affidavit listing the amount of fees or other charges, whether in the form of cash, gifts, or other thing of value, paid to, or on behalf of, birth parents, physicians, attorneys, or any other person in connection with the adoption, including but not limited to fees for medical, legal, or assessment services conducted pursuant to RSA 170-B:18, or board and care for the birth mother or minor child.
VI. If the requirements of a decree under RSA 170-B:19, III or IV have not been met, the court shall either:
(a) Dismiss the petition and determine the person to have custody of the minor child pursuant to RSA 170-B:20, III; or
(b) Extend the interlocutory period, and determine the person to have custody of the minor child, including the petitioners if in the best interest of the minor child. The court may provide for observation, assessment, and further report on the adoptive home during the extended interlocutory period.
Source. 2004, 255:1, eff. Jan. 2, 2005. 2020, 26:5, eff. Jan. 1, 2021.