Who Can Search?
In New Mexico a biological parent, adoptee, or biological sibling can search. This is known as the Triad.
How Long Does It Take?
It takes 2 – 3 weeks to get all the legal paper work done and an Order signed by the Judge. Then that Order is sent to State of New Mexico’s CYFD Adoption Unit, who must pull the file, copy it and sent it to the Confidential Intermediary. This takes about a month. So, from the time you initiate your search until the Confidential Intermediary obtains the file is approximately two months. Once the file is received, the amount of time it takes to search depends on the information contained in the file. Usually a search and reunion is completed within a few weeks, but if your circumstances are different (born in one state, adopted in another), it can take more time. Your intermediary will keep you informed of the progress.
Can I get my original birth certificate?
Yes, but with consent only. Your original birth certificate cannot be unsealed without a Court Order and without consent of a biological parent.
Can I get my records?
Whether adopted at birth, placed for adoption by the State, or adopted by a step parent or grandparent, the law is the same. The records can be sent only to a Confidential Intermediary who has taken an Oath of Confidentiality for your case. It is unfortunate, because some people simply need to prove their paper trail, but it is the reality of the current statute.
Can I use my original birth certificate as a legal document?
No. Even though it may have been legally unsealed and in your possession, it is not a legal birth certificate. It is a copy and is not valid for any purpose. You are legally your adopted name and your parents are legally those named on your amended birth certificate.
Do you do tribal affiliation?
No. State laws and tribal laws rarely support each other. Many people simply want tribal affiliation but do not want to meet their biological parent. The tribes rarely honor the Oath of Confidentiality taken by the Confidential Intermediary; therefore, we will not put our position as CIs at risk for tribal affiliation.
What if my biological parent is deceased?
We always search for other relatives; siblings that you may have, grandparents, aunts, and uncles. We usually find some biological relatives and put you in touch. If we can find none of those, we request the court to release your file to you.
I need my original birth certificate to get a passport.
This is true if your adoption occurred more than one year after your birth. In this post 9/11 world, passports cannot be issued unless you can prove a paper trail. If you have no wish to do search and reunion, check with the court in which you are adopted and obtain a certified copy of your Final Decree of Adoption for the Passport Office.
How much do your services cost?
Search and reunion is $500 total. $300 must be paid up front to cover court costs and certification costs associated with opening the file. Once the file is received by the Confidential Intermediary there is $200 due to her to begin the search, approximately 60 days later.
Can I make payments or use a credit card?
No. Unfortunately we are not set up for payments or credit cards. Cashiers checks are the only accepted form of payment.