New Mexico Statutes Chapter 32A. Children's Code § 32A-5-41. Appointment of confidential intermediary

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A. The court may appoint a confidential intermediary to ascertain whether an individual is willing to be contacted, is willing to release his name or identity or is willing to meet or otherwise communicate about any condition that may affect the moving party's physical or mental health, upon petition to the court by:

(1) an adoptee who is eighteen years of age or older;

(2) an adoptive parent of an adoptee who is less than eighteen years of age;

(3) an adoptee's former parent, when the adoptee is eighteen years of age or older;  or

(4) an adoptee's sibling.

B. The confidential intermediary shall make a reasonable effort to determine if the individual whose identity is sought by the petitioner has filed a signed document authorizing or refusing to authorize the release of the individual's name or identity.

C. When the confidential intermediary finds a signed authorization for a party to be contacted or for the release of identifying information, the intermediary shall release that information to the petitioner.  Upon the petitioner's written request, the intermediary may assist the petitioner in locating the individual who authorized the release of identifying information, in ascertaining whether the individual is willing to meet or communicate with the petitioner and in facilitating a meeting or other communication.

D. When the confidential intermediary finds a signed refusal to authorize the release of identifying information, the intermediary shall report this to the petitioner and the court and shall not attempt to locate or contact the individual who has refused to authorize contact or the release of identifying information.  The petitioner may then withdraw the petition or request the release of identifying information for good cause shown, pursuant to the provisions of Section 32A-5-40 NMSA 1978.

E. When the confidential intermediary does not find any documents concerning the release of identifying information or if the intermediary finds a document indicating that an individual whose identity is sought by the petitioner is undecided about whether to release identifying information, the intermediary shall make a reasonable search for and discreetly contact the individual to ascertain whether the individual is willing to release information to the petitioner or willing to meet or communicate with the petitioner, whom the intermediary may describe to the individual only in general, nonidentifying terms.  When the individual consents in writing to the release of information, the intermediary shall release the information to the petitioner, and upon the mutual written request and consent of the petitioner and the individual, the intermediary shall facilitate a meeting or other communication between the petitioner and the individual.  If the individual refuses to authorize the release of information sought by the petitioner, the intermediary shall report this to the petitioner and the court and the petitioner may withdraw the motion or file a motion with the court for an order to release identifying information for good cause shown, pursuant to provisions of Section 32A-5-40 NMSA 1978.

F. When an individual sought by the confidential intermediary is deceased, the intermediary shall report this to the petitioner and the court and, upon the petitioner's request, the court shall determine on the basis of the factors listed in Section 32A-5-40 NMSA 1978 whether good cause exists to release identifying information about the individual to the petitioner.

G. When an individual sought by the confidential intermediary cannot be located within a year, the intermediary shall report this to the petitioner and the court.  The court may authorize an additional search for a specified period of time or determine on the basis of the factors listed in Section 32A-5-40 NMSA 1978 whether good cause exists to release identifying information about the individual to the petitioner.

H. A confidential intermediary may charge the petitioner for actual expenses incurred in providing a service requested under this section.  Upon motion by the intermediary, the court may authorize a reasonable fee in addition to the expenses.

I. A confidential intermediary shall complete training provided by the department or any other entity approved by the court and shall file an oath of confidentiality in every court in which the intermediary expects to serve.

J. The confidential intermediary oath shall state:

“I, __________, signing under penalty of perjury, affirm that I have completed the requisite training for a confidential intermediary in this state.

I will not disclose to the petitioner, directly or indirectly, any identifying information in sealed records except under the conditions specified in this section.

I will conduct a reasonable search for an individual being sought and make a discreet and confidential inquiry as to whether the individual consents to the release of identifying or medical information to the petitioner or to meeting or communicating with the petitioner.  I will report to the petitioner or the court the results of my search and inquiry, along with any signed request or consent I receive from the individual.

If the individual and the petitioner request and consent in writing to meet or communicate with each other, I will act in accordance with the instructions of the petitioner or the court to facilitate any meeting or communication between them.

I will not charge or accept any fee for my services except for reimbursement from the petitioner for actual expenses incurred in performing my services or as authorized by the court.

I recognize that unauthorized release of information is a violation of the Adoption Act and subjects me to penalties pursuant to the provisions of Section 32A-5-42 NMSA 1978 and may subject me to being found in contempt of court with penalties, dismissal by the court and civil liability.”

Cite this article: FindLaw.com - New Mexico Statutes Chapter 32A. Children's Code § 32A-5-41. Appointment of confidential intermediary - last updated May 06, 2021 | https://codes.findlaw.com/nm/chapter-32a-childrens-code/nm-st-sect-32a-5-41/


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