Access to Adoption Records - New Mexico

Date: December 2019

Who May Access Information

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-40

Information may be accessed by the following:

  • The adoptee who is age 18 or older
  • The birth parent if the adoptee is age 18 or older
  • The adoptive parent of an adoptee under age 18
  • An adoptee'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 adoptee have consented to the release of their identities, inspection of records is limited to nonidentifying information. This includes the following:

  • The health and medical histories of the birth parents and the adoptee
  • General family background
  • Physical descriptions
  • The length of time the adoptee 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 any of the following:

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

At any time, an adult adoptee 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 adoptee; 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 adoptee, but also shall give due consideration to the interests of the members of the adoptee's birth and adoptive families. The court may assign a confidential intermediary to ascertain needed information.

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

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