2018 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 40 - Domestic Affairs
Article 10B - Kinship Guardianship
Section 40-10B-2 - Policy; purpose.
A. It is the policy of the state that the interests of children are best served when they are raised by their parents. When neither parent is able or willing to provide appropriate care, guidance and supervision to a child, it is the policy of the state that, whenever possible, a child should be raised by family members or kinship caregivers.
B. The Kinship Guardianship Act is intended to address those cases where a parent has left a child or children in the care of another for ninety consecutive days and that arrangement leaves the child or children without appropriate care, guidance or supervision.
C. The purposes of the Kinship Guardianship Act are to:
(1) establish procedures to effect a legal relationship between a child and a kinship caregiver when the child is not residing with either parent; and
(2) provide a child with a stable and consistent relationship with a kinship caregiver that will enable the child to develop physically, mentally and emotionally to the maximum extent possible when the child's parents are not willing or able to do so.
History: Laws 2001, ch. 167, § 2.
Intent of Kinship Guardianship Act. — The legislature enacted the Kinship Guardianship Act with the intent to preserve family unity, consistent with the overall purpose of the Children's Code and the Abuse and Neglect Act, 32A-4-1 NMSA 1978 et seq., indicating that the legislature intended the Kinship Guardianship Act to work in harmony with the Abuse and Neglect Act of the Children's Code. State ex rel. Children, Youth & Families Dep't v. Djamila B., 2015-NMSC-003.
Kinship guardian's role in abuse and neglect proceedings. — The Kinship Guardianship Act bestows parental rights on kinship guardians; the legislature intended that kinship guardians participate in all abuse and neglect proceedings until the kinship guardianship is properly revoked in accordance with this Act and the rules of evidence prior to involuntarily dismissing kinship guardians from abuse and neglect proceedings or before appointing a permanent guardian other than the kinship guardian. State ex rel. Children, Youth & Families Dep't v. Djamila B., 2015-NMSC-003.
Where guardian was appointed by a family court as a kinship guardian pursuant to the Kinship Guardianship Act, 40-10B-1 NMSA 1978 et seq., and where Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD) brought abuse and neglect proceedings in children's court against guardian and children's biological parents pursuant to the Abuse and Neglect Act, 32A-4-1 NMSA 1978 et seq., the kinship guardian, who possesses the same legal rights and responsibilities of a biological parent, must be a party to a termination of parental rights hearing under the Abuse and Neglect Act. State ex rel. Children, Youth & Families Dep't v. Djamila B., 2015-NMSC-003.