This is in response to your request for an opinion concerning the effective date of
a parent-child relationship under New Hampshire law. The materials you submitted indicate
that the wage earner, Wilbur B~, filed for retirement benefits in 1992, without listing
James W~ as his child. On June 9, 2000, the wage earner signed an affidavit acknowledging
that he is the father of James W~, who was born on May 20, 1973 and was 27 years old
at the time the affidavit was signed. For the following reasons, it is our opinion
that a parent-child relationship cannot be found to have existed prior to the acknowledgement
of paternity signed on June 9, 2000.
As you note in your request, under New Hampshire law the acknowledgement of paternity
in June 2000 conferred inheritance rights on Mr. W~ but did not legitimate him. POMS
GN 00306.560; N.H. Rev. Stat. Ann 561:4. The acknowledgement of paternity would have no retroactive
effect under state law. New Hampshire law does provide a method for a putative father
such as Mr. B~ to petition a court to legitimate a child. However, that provision is inapplicable here since there is no evidence that any
such petition has ever been filed. Accordingly, a parent-child relationship cannot
be established prior to June 2000.