TN 1 (12-04)
PR 01120.032 New Hampshire
A. PR 04-233 Effective Date of Child Relationship - New Hampshire (Wilbur B~)
DATE: June 7, 2004
An acknowledgment of paternity under New Hampshire law confers inheritance rights on the child, but does not legitimate him. The acknowledgment would have no retroactive effect under State law.
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.
"The putative father of any child born out of wedlock may apply by a verified written petition filed in a special proceeding in the superior court of the county in which he resides, praying that such child be declared legitimate. The mother, if living and available, shall be a necessary party to the proceeding, and the full names of the father, mother and the child shall be set out in the petition. If it appears to the court that the petitioner is the father of the child, the court may thereupon declare and pronounce the child legitimated, and the full names of the father, mother and the child shall be set out in the court order decreeing legitimation of the child.”
N.H. RSA 460:29.