New Mexico

New Mexico


Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-40

Information may be accessed by:

  • The adopted person who is age 18 or older
  • The birth parent if the adopted person is age 18 or older
  • The adoptive parent of an adopted person under age 18
  • An adopted person’s birth sibling
  • A guardian
  • An attorney for any party

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-40

Unless the birth parent and the adopted person have consented to the release of their identities, inspection of records is limited to nonidentifying information. This includes:

  • The health and medical histories of the birth parents and the adopted person
  • General family background
  • Physical descriptions
  • The length of time the adopted person was in the care and custody of persons other than the adoptive parents

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 32A-5-40; 32A-5-41

At any time after the entry of the decree of adoption, a birth parent may file:

  • Consent or refusal to be contacted
  • Release of the birth parent’s identity to the adult adopted person or to the adoptive parent of a minor adopted person
  • Information regarding the birth parent’s location or changes in background information

At any time, an adult adopted person may file information regarding his or her location and consent or refusal regarding opening of his or her adoption file to his or her birth parents.

If mutual authorizations for release of identifying information by the parties are not available, an adult adopted person, the birth parents, or the adoptive parents if the adopted person is a minor may file a motion with the court to obtain the release of identifying information for good cause shown. When hearing the motion, the court shall give primary consideration to the best interests of the adopted person, but shall also give due consideration to the interests of the members of the adopted person’s birth and adoptive families. The court may assign a confidential intermediary to ascertain needed information.

An adopted person shall have the right to access information to enroll in his or her Tribe of origin. If the department establishes that an adopted person is of Indian descent, the department shall:

  • Provide the requester with the Tribal affiliation of the adopted person’s birth parents
  • Submit to the Tribe information necessary to establish Tribal enrollment for the adopted person and to protect any rights flowing from the adopted person’s Tribal relationship
  • Provide notice to the requester of the department’s submission of information to the adopted person’s Tribe

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 24-14-17

The original birth certificate is available only upon order of the court.

Where the Information Can Be Located

New Mexico Department of Children, Youth and Families

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Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

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Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-14
The preplacement study shall be performed as prescribed by Children, Youth and Families Department regulation.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 32A-5-3; 32A-5-14
The preplacement study shall include at a minimum the following:

  • A report of a medical examination performed on the adopted person within 1 year prior to the proposed adoptive placement
  • Full disclosure to the petitioner

Full disclosure means mandatory and continuous disclosure by the investigator, agency, department, or petitioner throughout the adoption proceeding and after finalization of the adoption of all known, nonidentifying information regarding the adopted person, including:

  • Health history
  • Psychological history
  • Mental history
  • Hospital history
  • Medication history
  • Genetic history
  • Physical descriptions
  • Social history
  • Placement history
  • Education

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-3
The preplacement study shall include a written evaluation of the adopted person’s birth family.

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-12
In all adoptions, prior to any placement being made, the person making the placement shall provide full disclosure.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-14
Unless directed by the court, a preplacement study is not required in cases in which the child is being adopted by a stepparent, a relative, or a person named in the child’s deceased parent’s will pursuant to § 32A-5-12.

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Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 45-2-114
A parent is barred from inheriting from or through a child of the parent if:

  • The parent’s parental rights were terminated and the parent-child relationship was not judicially re-established.
  • The child died before reaching age 18, and there is clear and convincing evidence that immediately before the child’s death the parental rights of the parent could have been terminated on the basis of nonsupport, abandonment, abuse, neglect, or other actions or inactions of the parent toward the child.

For the purpose of intestate succession from or through the deceased child, a parent who is barred from inheriting under this section is treated as if the parent predeceased the child.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 32A-5-37; 45-2-114
The adopted person and adopting parent(s) shall have all rights and be subject to all of the duties of the parent-child relationship upon adoption, including the right of inheritance from and through each other. For purposes of intestate succession, an adopted individual is the child of his or her adopting parent(s).

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 45-2-302; 45-2-705
If a testator fails to provide in his or her will for child who was adopted after the execution of the will, the omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate as follows:

  • If the testator had no child living when he or she executed the will, an omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to what the child would have received had the testator died intestate, unless the will gave all or substantially all of the estate to the other parent of the omitted child and that other parent survives the testator and is entitled to take under the will.
  • If the testator had one or more children living when he or she executed the will, and the will gave property or an interest in property to one or more of the then-living children, an omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share in the testator’s estate as follows:
    • The portion of the estate that the omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share is limited to bequests made to the testator’s then-living children under the will.
    • The omitted after-adopted child is entitled to receive the share of the estate, as limited above, that the child would have received had the testator included all omitted after-born and after-adopted children with the children to whom bequests were made under the will and had given an equal share of the estate to each child.

The above does not apply if:

  • If it appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • The testator provided for the omitted after-adopted child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision.

Adopted individuals and their respective descendants, if appropriate to the class, are included in class gifts and other terms of relationship in accordance with the rules for intestate succession.

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State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-39

Every decree or order of adoption entered by a court or other entity in another country acting pursuant to that country’s law or pursuant to any convention, treaty, or intercountry adoption that the United States has ratified shall be recognized in this State, so that the rights and obligations of the parties as to matters within the jurisdiction of this State shall be determined as though the decree or order of adoption were issued by the courts of this State.A convention adoption in a foreign country that is certified by the U.S. Secretary of State shall be recognized as a final adoption in this State.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-26(O) & (P)

A petition for adoption shall be filed and verified by petitioner alleging all items in § 32A-5-26(A)-(N). However, if the adoptee is foreign-born, copies of the child’s passport and U.S. visa, along with all documents demonstrating that the adoptee is legally free for adoption, including a certificate from the U.S. Secretary of State that certifies whether the adoption is a convention adoption, must accompany the petition. A petition alleging a convention adoption shall also allege that:

  • The country in which the child has been residing is a party to the Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption.
  • The agency or person who is providing the adoption service has been approved as an accrediting entity.
  • The certificate issued by the U.S. Secretary of State that certifies the adoption as a convention adoption has been filed with the court.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-38

Within 30 days after an adoption decree becomes final, the petitioner shall prepare an application for a birth certificate in the new name of the adoptee, showing the petitioner as the adoptee’s parent, and shall submit the application to the clerk of the court and the State Registrar of Vital Statistics.In the case of the adoption of a person born outside the United States, if requested by the petitioner, the court shall make findings, based on evidence from the petitioner and other reliable State or Federal sources, on the date and place of birth of the adopted child. These findings shall be certified by the court and included with the application for a birth certificate.

The State Registrar of Vital Statistics shall prepare a birth record in the new name of the adopted child in accordance with the vital statistics laws but subject to the requirements of the Adoption Act as to the confidentiality of adoption records.

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