Postadoption Contact Agreements Between Birth and Adoptive Families - New Mexico

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What may be included in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-35

An agreement for postadoption contact shall, absent a finding to the contrary, be presumed to be in the best interests of the child and shall be included in the decree of adoption.

The agreement may include contact between siblings and the adopted child on a finding that it is in the best interests of the adopted child and the adopted child's siblings and a determination that the siblings' parent, guardian, or custodian has consented.

The contact may include exchange of identifying or nonidentifying information or visitation between the parents, the parents' relatives, or the adopted child's siblings and the petitioner or visitation between the parents, the parents' relatives, or the adopted child's siblings and the adopted child. An agreement entered into pursuant to this section shall be considered an open adoption.

Every such agreement shall contain a clause that the parties agree to the continuing jurisdiction of the court and to the agreement and understand and intend that any disagreement or litigation regarding the terms of the agreement shall not affect the validity of the relinquishment of parental rights, the adoption, or the custody of the adopted child.

Who may be a party to a postadoption contact agreement?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-35

The parents of the adopted child and the petitioner may agree to contact between the parents and the petitioner or contact between the adopted child and one or more of the parents or contact between the adopted child and relatives of the parents.

What is the role of the court in postadoption contact agreements?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-35

The court may appoint a guardian ad litem for the child, particularly when visitation between the birth family and the child is included in an agreement. The court shall adopt a presumption in favor of appointing a guardian ad litem for the adopted child. However, this requirement may be waived by the court for good cause shown.

If the child is age 14 or older, the court may appoint an attorney for the child. In determining whether the agreement is in the child's best interests, the court shall consider the child's wishes, but the wishes of the child shall not control the court's findings as to the child's best interests.

Are agreements legally enforceable?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-35

The court shall retain jurisdiction after the decree of adoption is entered if the decree contains an agreement for contact, for the purpose of hearing motions brought to enforce or modify an agreement entered into pursuant to the provisions of this section.

How may an agreement be terminated or modified?

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-35

The court shall not grant a request to modify the agreement unless the moving party establishes that there has been a change of circumstances and the agreement is no longer in the child's best interests.