Who May Adopt, Be Adopted, or Place a Child for Adoption - New Mexico

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Who May Adopt

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-11

Residents who are one of the following may adopt:

  • Any individual who has been approved by the court as a suitable adoptive parent
  • A married individual without the individual's spouse joining in the adoption if:
    • The nonjoining spouse is a parent of the adopted person.
    • The individual and the nonjoining spouse are legally separated.
    • The failure of the nonjoining spouse to join in the adoption is excused for reasonable circumstances as determined by the court.

Nonresidents may adopt in New Mexico if the adopted person is a resident or was born in New Mexico but is less than 6 months of age and was placed by the department or an agency licensed by the State of New Mexico.

Who May Be Adopted

Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 32A-5-11; 32A-5-5

Any child may be adopted.

An Indian child should be placed with one of the following:

  • His or her extended family
  • Members of his or her Tribe
  • Other Indian families

Who May Place a Child for Adoption

Citation: Ann. Stat. § 32A-5-12

A child may be placed for adoption by any of the following:

  • The Children, Youth and Families Department
  • An appropriate public authority of another State
  • An agency
  • A court order
  • The parent

A parent may arrange an independent placement for his or her child pursuant to § 32A-5-13. In such case, the petitioner must file a request with the court to allow the placement. A preplacement study will be required. An exception to these requirements is made when:

  • A stepparent seeks to adopt the child, and, prior to the filing of the adoption petition, the child has lived with the stepparent for at least 1 year since the marriage of the stepparent to the custodial parent, and the family has received counseling.
  • A relative within the fifth degree of consanguinity to the child or that relative's spouse seeks to adopt the child, and, prior to the filing of the adoption petition, the child has lived with the relative or the relative's spouse for at least 1 year.
  • A person designated to care for the child in the will of the child's deceased parent seeks to adopt the child, and, prior to the filing of the adoption petition, the child has lived with that person for at least 1 year.