Can a same-sex couple adopt a child together in New Hampshire? The question, although simple, does not have a simple answer. Currently, the laws in New Hampshire leave the question open to interpretation.

As I have blogged about previously, New Hampshire is one of four states that recognizes a civil union. New Hampshire’s civil union statute confers "all the rights and [is] subject to all the obligations and responsibilities provided for in state law that apply to parties who are joined together" in marriage.  However, the adoption statute allows for a "husband and wife together" or an "unmarried adult" to adopt. The adoption statue, when strictly interpreted, does not reflect the changes in the law regarding civil unions.

At this point, different judges have different interpretations of the adoption and civil union statutes. Until the legislature addresses the issue and revises the adoption statute to reflect the new civil union law or a case goes up to the supreme court, a same-sex couple may encounter a bump in the road towards adoption. For those proactive about such issues, you can contact your local state representative and bring the issue to their attention.