Adopting a child can be a very complicated and confusing process. It’s also a beautiful one. For individuals and families choosing adoption in the land of enchantment, there are some key facts to be aware of. You should expect your New Mexico adoption to take 4-7 months to complete.
New Mexico Adoption Laws
In New Mexico, any resident of the state may adopt. A married person can adopt individually, without their spouse, in certain circumstances. Nonresidents may adopt if the adoptee was born in New Mexico and is being placed by a department or agency licensed in New Mexico. LGBTQ individuals and couples are eligible to become adoptive parents in the state of New Mexico.
Here are some other quick facts about adoption in our state. Of course, these laws are subject to change and we recommend checking with the state and/or a licensed attorney who can guide you through the process.
- Consent for adoption may be signed 48 hours after birth.
- Consent for adoption is irrevocable.
- Individuals and families can advertise for adoption.
- Fathers are registered, but do not provide pre-birth consent for adoption.
- Adoptive parent(s) pay medical and living expenses of the birthmother, usually through a third party.
The Adoption Process
There are many steps between deciding to adopt and bringing home a child. Whether it’s an infant or a youth in foster care, you will go through a number of steps to determine whether adoption is indeed right for you. The Children, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) in New Mexico facilitates adoption and foster care and has a number of resources available to adoptive families. Prospective parents must be over 18 with a living space that has room for an adopted child or children. An assigned social worker will work with you over a 5-6 month period as you go through the steps to become an adoptive parent.
Some of the steps and requirements for New Mexico residents include:
- Attend a local foster/adoption information meeting.
- Fill out the application completely, and provide personal references.
- Schedule a background check.
- Attend 32 hours of required foster/adoptive parenting classes.
- Participate in a home study, which will include interviews with everyone living in your household.
- Have a medical exam by your own physician to ensure that you are healthy.
- Additional paperwork will be required.
Adopting from a Foreign Country
There is an entirely unique process for foreign adoption and you should make sure you understand all the requirements, costs, and expectations. This adoption process is governed not only by the state of New Mexico but the country of origin of the child as well as the U.S. Government. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website has more information for those who are interested in adopting a child from another country.
New Mexico Adoption Attorney at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC
Are you planning to adopt a child? If so, there are several important ways an Albuquerque Adoption Attorney at Sutherland Law Firm, LLC can help your adoption process run smoothly and successfully. Call (505) 207-5172 or email our firm.