2021 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 40 - Domestic Affairs
Article 10B - Kinship Guardianship
Section 40-10B-3 - Definitions.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 40-10B-3 (2021)

As used in the Kinship Guardianship Act:

A. "caregiver" means an adult, who is not a parent of a child, with whom a child resides and who provides that child with the care, maintenance and supervision consistent with the duties and responsibilities of a parent of the child;

B. "child" means an individual who is a minor;

C. "department" means the children, youth and families department;

D. "guardian" means a person appointed as a guardian by a court or Indian tribal authority or a person authorized to care for the child by a parental power of attorney as permitted by law;

E. "guardianship assistance agreement" means a written agreement entered into by the prospective kinship guardian and the protective services division or juvenile justice division of the department or Indian tribe prior to the establishment of the guardianship by a court;

F. "guardianship assistance payments" means payments made by the department to a kinship guardian or successor guardian on behalf of a child pursuant to the terms of a guardianship assistance agreement;

G. "guardianship assistance program" means the financial subsidy program provided for in the Kinship Guardianship Act;

H. "kinship" means the relationship that exists between a child and a relative of the child, a godparent, a member of the child's tribe or clan or an adult with whom the child has a significant bond;

I. "legal custody" means a legal status that vests in a person, department or agency the rights and obligations that would otherwise vest by law in a parent;

J. "parent" means a biological or adoptive parent of a child whose parental rights have not been terminated;

K. "relative" means an individual related to a child as a spouse, parent, stepparent, brother, sister, stepbrother, stepsister, half-brother, half-sister, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, first cousin or any person denoted by the prefix "grand" or "great", or the spouse or former spouse of the persons specified;

L. "subsidized guardianship" means a guardianship that meets subsidy eligibility criteria pursuant to the Kinship Guardianship Act; and

M. "voluntary placement agreement" means a written agreement between either the protective services division or juvenile justice division of the department or Indian tribe that has entered into a joint powers agreement and the parents or guardians of a child, which agreement shall not exceed one hundred eighty days unless there has been a judicial determination that such placement is in the best interests of the child, in which case the agreement may be extended for an additional one hundred eighty days, that specifies at least the following:

(1) whether the parent or guardian agrees to give legal custody of the child to the department;

(2) the rights and obligations of the parents or guardians, the child and the department, including that the parent or guardian has the right to revoke or terminate the placement agreement and grant of legal custody to the department at any time; and

(3) such other criteria as set forth by rule promulgated by the department as necessary to comply with state and federal law.

History: Laws 2001, ch. 167, § 3; 2020, ch. 51, § 2.


The 2020 amendment, effective May 20, 2020, defined "department", "guardian", "guardianship assistance agreement", "guardianship assistance payments", "guardianship assistance program", "legal custody", "subsidized guardianship" and "voluntary placement agreement" as used in the Kinship Guardianship Act; added new Subsections C through G and redesignated former Subsection C as Subsection H; added a new Subsection I and redesignated former Subsections D and E as Subsections J and K, respectively; and added Subsections L and M.

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