New Mexico is a sealed record state, meaning that adoption records are not available to the adult adoptee, birth parents, and/or adoptive parents without a court order. There are so many of us who would like to have information about our beginnings and our biological relatives, or a birth parent that would like to know how his/her adult child has fared. Because of this, we have worked out a system with the District Court to allow this to happen. It is called the Intermediary System.
The Intermediary System allows an adult adoptee, a birth parent of a child that is 18 years or older, or a sibling of a person 18 years or older to petition the courts to have the adoption file opened. We have been successful in petitioning the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe, and we use that court to obtain the State’s adoption file. One of our Intermediaries with paralegal experience petitions the courts for you for a very reasonable price, or you may retain an attorney should you so desire. If you elect to use an attorney, he/she must contact the CYFD Adoption Unit for a list of certified intermediaries or use their website at www.cyfd.org.
If you would like any of us to start this procedure, you must write a letter stating your desire to petition the Court to open your adoption file. The following facts must be contained in the letter:
- If you are an ADOPTEE: Your adoptive name. The date and place of birth (city/state). Your adoptive parents’ names. (Adoptive parents will not be contacted if you are an adult, but an adoptee’s file is archived under the adoptive parents’ name.) The County in which the adoption was finalized if you know. (It is probably the County where the adoptive parents lived at the time of the adoption).
- If you are a BIRTH PARENT: The maiden name of the biological mother. The date and place of birth (city/state). All records are cross-referenced under the birth mother’s name (not the biological father’s name). Records are not archived under alias names.
- If you are a SIBLING: The biological mother’s name at the time she gave birth, as well as the biological mother’s maiden name. The date and place of birth (city/state). Records are not archived under alias names.
- That the Intermediary System has been explained to you.
- Please enclose a photocopy of your driver’s license with your information, along with a current address, phone number and email address.
Send this information, plus a Cashier’s Check or Money Order for $600.00 to:
400 Clark Rd. SW
Albuquerque, NM 87105
This amount covers the filing of the Petition with the Court, postage and other costs associated with opening the file. (If you choose your own attorney, the fee might differ). You may, if you wish, send $300 to begin the procedure and then send the balance of $300 when it is time to search.
Ann will be petitioning the court in your name – called pro se – because she is not an attorney. There is a paragraph in the petition that clearly indicates you understand that no information contained in the file will be given to you, but will be given only to a Court Appointed Intermediary. After the Court issues the Order to have the file opened, the Order will be sent to the Children, Youth, and Families Department Protective Services Division. They will obtain the file and forward it to your Confidential Intermediary. It may also be necessary to order your original birth certificate if there is no searchable information in the file, or no file at all.
When your intermediary contacts you to inform you, they are ready to begin the search, they will be requesting three items from you:
- A picture of yourself and your family.
- A letter to the person you are searching for, telling them a little bit about yourself and why you want to be in touch with them, using only non identifying information.
- If you spoke to an Intermediary and wish for that person to handle your case, please indicate which Intermediary you would like assigned.
Upon receiving these items, your intermediary will begin to work on completing your case as quickly as possible. Some cases are completed very quickly, and some take longer than others. Once your Intermediary has located the person, they will attempt to contact them and inform them of your wishes.
Currently, we have about a 98% success rate of finding the person we are searching for. Going into this you must consider that the person you are searching for may not choose to have contact with you at this time in their life. It is not a personal rejection, because you cannot reject something you don’t know, but you can reject a very unpleasant time in your life that you have tried to put behind you. It doesn’t happen often, but you need to consider refusal is a possibility.
When the located person signs the Consent to Contact form, your Intermediary will make the necessary arrangements to put you in contact with your relative. Also, they will help you in any way possible to prepare for this soon-to-be emotional reunion.
If, after reading this, you still have questions concerning the process; please feel free to contact Ann House at 505-873-1719 or visit the NM Adoption Search website at http://www.nmadoptionsearch.com for further information.
We look forward to working with you.
400 Clark Rd. SW
Albuquerque, NM 87105
910 Fruit NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102
|FOR SOUTHEAST NM BIRTHS
1910 N. Atkinson
Roswell, NM 88201