Adoption can happen in one of three ways. The two most common ways of adopting are through an agency or a private attorney (usually referred to as “independent” or “private” cases). The third and least common way of adopting is international adoption, due to its intricacy and higher cost. However you decide to adopt can depend on multiple factors including but not limited to, personal, legal, and financial factors. Adoption can be a complicated, tiring, and costly process. Additionally, it can be a fulfilling and meaningful experience for adoptive parents and adoptees. Before starting the process of adoption, you must be clear as to why you are seeking to adopt and how suited you are for this type of lifelong commitment. You must assess critical topics regarding adoption such as: the age of the child(ren), sibling groups, accommodations for ill or special needs children, becoming an interracial/intercultural family, the biological family, and many more. 

Two New Mexico citizens holding paper cutout of family.

Eligibility to become an adoptive parent in New Mexico


In order to become an adoptive parent, you must be over the age of 18 with adequate space for an adopted child or children. You must be healthy, have a clean criminal record, be a New Mexico resident, willing to attend 32 hours of free training, willing to participate in a free home study and be committed to caring for children. 


How do I adopt a child? 


To become an adoptive parent in New Mexico there are a few steps to follow. First, you must attend your local foster/adoption information meeting. Next, you must complete an application and provide personal references. Then you can schedule and complete a background check to get your fingerprints taken. In addition, you must attend 32 hours of required pre-service training. Next, a home study must be completed and approved by the Children, Youth, and Families Department of the State of New Mexico. This procedure will include interviews with members of your household and are used to define your strengths as a family. To conclude the beginning stages of the adoption process, you will also be asked to have a medical exam completed by your physician to ensure that you are healthy, and you may have to submit additional documents.  If you have questions or need help, our Albuquerque Family Law Attorneys will be more than happy to provide you a consultation as to how best achieve your goals. 

If you are licensed through the Children, Youth, and Families Department, adopting a child is free and you may also receive financial support along with other resources to aid during and after the adoption process. 


Do I need a lawyer? 

The adoption process is no walk in the park. An adoption lawyer can help you if you are unsure about the factors that play into adopting a child. A lawyer can help you find an agency to adopt from, can file paperwork, if necessary, can represent you in court. Whether you are a single parent, a same-sex couple, a step-parent, or a grandparent, a lawyer will be knowledgeable on pertinent adoption laws. A lawyer can also provide guidance based on your situation and prepare you for any unforeseen circumstances such as legal complications and birth parents changing their minds. An adoption attorney will be a great resource and guide throughout the adoption process. With the help of a lawyer who presumably knows the right people to talk to and the correct paperwork to file, the adoption process can be greatly expedited.