Second Judicial District Court
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Children’s Court FAQs
What is Kinship Guardianship?
This would be the answer: A kinship caregiver is defined as any individual who is a relative, godparent, member of a child’s tribe or clan, or an adult with a significant bond (fictive kin) who are raising a child or youth because the biological parents are not able or unwilling to do so.
Kinship caregivers could be eligible for legal assistance from various agencies across the state. For more information, click here.
Is there a filing fee?
Yes, a filing fee is normally required, except for proceedings filed by the state. For information on filing fees, refer to the Fee Schedule.
I want to gain custody of my children. My ex does not let me see my children.
Child custody and child support matters relating to divorce, separation or living arrangement are addressed through the Domestic Relations Division, not through Children’s Court.
How do I enroll a child in school or obtain medical treatment when I take care of the child but I am not a parent?
Fill out a Caregiver’s Authorization Affidavit available through the Children’s Court Legal Assistant. To establish more extensive legal and parental rights, you might file for kinship guardianship.
How can I emancipate myself? How can I, as a parent, emancipate my child?
An emancipation proceeding is initiated by the minor, age sixteen or older. Refer to the Children’s Code for details. Information and forms are available through the Children’s Court Legal Assistant or by clicking here. For information on filing fees, refer to the Fee Schedule.
How do I obtain a copy of my adoption records?
Adoption records, except for adult adoptions, are confidential. The Children’s Code provides for the adopted child or biological parent to petition the Court for access.
Most older adoption records do not contain a consent to release identifying information by either the biological parent or the adopted child, as this was not required in adoptions during that time.
Without a consent to release information, the Court can only release non-identifying information. This is limited to health and medical history of the adopted child’s biological parents, health and medical history of the adopted child and the adopted child’s general family background (including ancestral information, without name references or geographical designations).
If the adopted child is a Native American, the following information may be provided: tribal information; physical descriptions of the adopted child and the child’s biological parents; and the length of time the adopted child was in the care and custody of any person other than the adoptive parents.
Submitting a written request to the Central Adoptions Unit of the Children, Youth and Families Department requires no fee for obtaining non-identifying information by the adopted child or biological parent.
How can my spouse adopt my child?
Stepparent adoption information and forms are available through the Children’s Court Legal Assistant or by clicking here. For information on filing fees, refer to the Fee Schedule.
As a parent in an abuse and neglect proceeding, can I see my file?
Matters involving abuse and/or neglect proceedings are confidential and not open to the public. A party may obtain information through the attorney who represented them in the proceeding. In pending matters, respondents are encouraged to obtain counsel, or, if unable to afford an attorney, to apply through the Children’s Court Administration Office. The Human Services Division of the Children, Youth and Families Department can provide limited information to respondents.
How do I report child abuse?
Call the statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-855-333-SAFE  or #SAFE from a cell phone.
John E. Brown Juvenile Justice Center
5100 Second St. NW
Albuquerque, NM 87107
Monday – Friday: 8 a.m.-5 p.m.