I. The state, through an authorized agency, or if required by a district court, shall file a petition for termination of parental rights or, if such a petition has been filed by another party, the state shall seek to be joined as a party to such petition, where any one or more of the following circumstances exist:
(a) Where a child has been in an out-of-home placement pursuant to a finding of child neglect or abuse, under the responsibility of the state, for 12 of the most recent 22 months;

Terms Used In New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:24-a

  • Abandoned: means the child has been left by his parent, guardian or custodian, without provision for his care, supervision or financial support although financially able to provide such support. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Child: means any person who has not reached his eighteenth birthday. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Court: means the district court, unless otherwise indicated. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Defendant: In a civil suit, the person complained against; in a criminal case, the person accused of the crime.
  • Felony: A crime carrying a penalty of more than a year in prison.
  • following: when used by way of reference to any section of these laws, shall mean the section next preceding or following that in which such reference is made, unless some other is expressly designated. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:13
  • Jurisdiction: (1) The legal authority of a court to hear and decide a case. Concurrent jurisdiction exists when two courts have simultaneous responsibility for the same case. (2) The geographic area over which the court has authority to decide cases.
  • Out-of-home placement: means the placement of a child in substitute care with someone other than the child's biological parent or parents, adoptive parent or parents, or legal guardian. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • Parent: means mother, father, adoptive parent, but such term shall not include a parent as to whom the parent-child relationship has been terminated by judicial decree or voluntary relinquishment. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • petition: when used in connection with the equity jurisdiction of the superior court, and referring to a document filed with the court, shall mean complaint, and "petitioner" shall mean plaintiff. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:51
  • Relative: means parent, grandparent, brother, sister, stepparent, stepbrother, stepsister, uncle, aunt, nieces, nephews or first and second cousins. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 169-C:3
  • state: when applied to different parts of the United States, may extend to and include the District of Columbia and the several territories, so called; and the words "United States" shall include said district and territories. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:4
  • sworn: when applied to public officers required by the constitution to take oaths therein prescribed, shall refer to those oaths; when applied to other officers it shall mean sworn to the faithful discharge of the duties of their offices before a justice of the peace, or other person authorized to administer official oaths in such cases. See New Hampshire Revised Statutes 21:25

(b) Where a court of competent jurisdiction has determined that a child has been abandoned as defined by RSA 170-C:5, I; or
(c) Where a court of competent jurisdiction has made any one or more of the following determinations:
(1) That the parent has been convicted of murder, pursuant to RSA 630:1-a or RSA 630:1-b, of another child of the parent, a sibling or step- sibling of the child, the child’s other parent, or other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, including a minor child who resided with the defendant.
(2) That the parent has been convicted of manslaughter, pursuant to RSA 630:2, of another child of the parent.
(3) That the parent has been convicted of attempt, pursuant to RSA 629:1, solicitation, pursuant to RSA 629:2, or conspiracy, pursuant to RSA 629:3, to commit any of the offenses specified in subparagraphs I(c)(1) or I(c)(2).
(4) That the parent has been convicted of a felony assault under RSA 631:1, 631:2, 632-A:2, or 632-A:3 that resulted in injury to the child, a sibling or step-sibling of the child, the child’s other parent, or other persons related by consanguinity or affinity, including a minor child who resided with the defendant.
II. Concurrent with the filing or joinder in a petition for termination of parental rights as defined in paragraph I of this section, the state shall seek to identify, recruit, and approve a qualified family for adoption in accordance with the provisions of RSA 170-B, and in accordance with the principle that the health and safety of the child shall be the paramount concern.
III. The state may not be required to file a petition for termination of parental rights, or seek to be joined as a party to such a petition, if one or more of the following conditions exist:
(a) The child is being appropriately cared for by a relative;
(b) A state agency has documented in the case file a compelling reason for determining that filing a petition for termination of parental rights would not be in the best interests of the child; or
(c) The state has not provided to the family of the child, consistent with RSA 170-C:5, III, such services and reasonable efforts as the state deems necessary for the safe return of the child to the child’s home. In determining whether the state has made reasonable efforts to prevent placement and reunify the family, the district court shall consider whether services to the family have been accessible, available, and appropriate.
IV. The state shall submit a sworn statement prior to any district court hearing in which the court is to determine whether there have been reasonable efforts to prevent placement, reunify the family, or make and finalize a new permanent home for the child. Such statement shall be submitted to the court and to the parties at least 5 days prior to the hearing, and shall describe such reasonable efforts made by the state or the rationale for not making such efforts.