New Mexico Adoption Laws and Policies

Who Can Adopt in New Mexico?

Any resident of New Mexico with the court’s approval or a married couple jointly may adopt. A married individual may adopt without his/her spouse if the adopting parent is the adoptee’s stepparent, is legally separated, or if the adopting parent’s spouse is excused by the court for a reasonable circumstance. Nonresidents may adopt if the adoptee was born in New Mexico and is being placed by a Dept. or agency licensed in New Mexico.

New Mexico Domestic Adoption Laws

Can adoptive parents advertise for birth parents? Yes, but attorneys do not advertise for birth parents for potential adopters.

Can out-of-state residents finalize an adoption? Yes, using a New Mexico agency; not for independent adoption.

Can adopting parents use an adoption facilitator or another paid intermediary? Yes, but adopting parents may only use a child-placing agency as an adoption facilitator.

What birth parent expenses may be paid, and in what time period? Medical, legal, counseling, living (including travel). Up to 6 weeks postpartum.

Is there a putative father registry? Yes.

When can consent to adoption be granted? 48 hours after birth.

When does consent become irrevocable? If consent is revoked, is return to birth parent automatic? After signing.

Are post-adoption contact agreements legally enforceable? If there is an agreement for contact included in the adoption decree, the court will decide if it is enforceable.

New Mexico International Adoption Laws

Is a foreign adoption decree automatically recognized by the state? Yes, an adoption decree issued under due process of law that is recognized by the U.S. government is automatically recognized by New Mexico.

Can parents readopt in this state? Is it mandatory? Not addressed in state statutes.

When will a U.S. birth certificate be issued? The State Registrar of Vital Statistics will issue a birth certificate upon receipt of proof of the child’s date and place of birth. The adopting parents must request a birth certificate within 30 days after the adoption decree is finalized.

Adoption from Foster Care in New Mexico

Are adoption subsidies available? When do they start and how long do they last? Yes, subsidies are available for a special needs child, who is defined as having at least one of the following: 5 years or older, of a minority ethnic background, member of a sibling group of 3 or more children being placed together, has a diagnosed developmental, psychological, or physical condition. Subsidies start at adoption finalization.

Where can I learn more about the process of adopting a child from foster care in New Mexico?

New Mexico Adoption Unit

Program Manager: Renee Fitts

PO Drawer 5160
1120 Paseo de Peralta, Room 219
Santa Fe, New Mexico 87502-5160
Phone: (575) 626-9612


DISCLAIMER: The state laws and policies outlined above are offered to readers only for general information and do not constitute legal advice. Furthermore, the state laws were accurate at the time of compilation, but The Current Initiative cannot guarantee that there have been no subsequent changes or revisions to the laws. Please do not rely on the information above without first consulting an adoption attorney licensed in your state. Updated in November 2014.