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New Mexico Adoption Laws

And How They Could Impact Your Adoption

When you're a hopeful adoptive parent, adoption laws can be both intimidating and confusing. To help you understand the state’s adoption process, we’ve compiled a list of New Mexico’s adoption laws you’ll want to be familiar with.

These should help you learn what to expect in a New Mexico adoption, but keep in mind that this article is for informational purposes only and does not serve as legal advice. You should always work with an attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information on the adoption laws in New Mexico and, as always, don’t hesitate to call American Adoptions at 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us online with any questions about our agency's programs in New Mexico.

Who can adopt a child in New Mexico?

According to New Mexico adoption laws, the following people may adopt:

  • Any individual who the court has approved as a suitable adoptive parent

  • Married couples who have been approved as suitable adoptive parents

  • A married individual without the spouse joining the petition if:

    • The spouse who doesn’t join the petition is the adopted child’s parent

    • The individual and the spouse who isn’t joining the petition are legally separated

    • The spouse who doesn’t join the petition is excused for doing so by the court based on reasonable circumstances

A nonresident of New Mexico can adopt in the state as well if the person being adopted is a resident or was born in New Mexico and is less than 6 months old.

The New Mexico Adoption Consent Process

It’s crucial that consent to an adoption be executed properly before a family can adopt. New Mexico state laws dictate that the prospective birth mother, the proposed adoptive parent(s), the presumed father, the acknowledged father, and the child-placing professional all consent to the adoption. If the child is 14 years or older, he or she must consent as well.

Consent is not required when a parent:

  • Has already had their parental rights terminated

  • Has relinquished the child to an agency for adoption

  • Is the biological father of a child who was conceived by rape or incest

  • Has not responded to given notice

  • Has failed to register as a putative father within 10 days of the child’s birth and has not otherwise been acknowledged as the father

Consent may be given as early as 48 hours after the child’s birth and must be in writing.

New Mexico Adoption Laws about Birth Parent Expenses

Adoption laws in New Mexico allow adoptive parents to pay for the following birth parent expenses:

  • Maternity-related medical expenses for both the mother and child

  • Counseling services

  • The prospective birth mother’s living expenses (as well as those of any dependent children) for a reasonable time before and after birth or placement

  • Legal services

  • Any other services or expenses the court deems necessary

These payments should be made to third-party vendors if and when possible.

New Mexico Adoption Home Study Requirements

Anyone who wishes to adopt in the state of New Mexico (or anywhere else in the United States) must first complete an adoption home study. This is essentially an assessment of a family’s readiness to adopt and includes three phases: a documentation stage, a home inspection, and interviews with each family member living in the home. Since the documentation stage is the lengthiest part of the process, it can be helpful to begin gathering the following documents ahead of time:

  • A driver’s license

  • Proof of insurance

  • Birth certificates

  • Marriage certificates

  • Background checks and clearances

  • Physical and mental health statements

  • Financial statements

  • References

  • Autobiographical statements

To learn more about the New Mexico adoption laws surrounding the home study, see “Guide to an Adoption Home Study in New Mexico.”

New Mexico Adoption Agencies

American Adoptions is a national, full-service adoption agency who works with both New Mexico prospective birth moms and adoptive families throughout every step of the adoption process. To learn more about adoption in New Mexico, please call 1-800-ADOPTION or contact us online to speak with an adoption specialist.

Information available through these links is the sole property of the companies and organizations listed therein. America Adoptions, Inc. provides this information as a courtesy and is in no way responsible for its content or accuracy.

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