HOUSE BILL 309
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
RELATING TO CHILDREN; AMENDING A SECTION OF THE CHILDREN'S CODE TO PROVIDE FOR INTERVENTION OF FOSTER PARENTS UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES IN ABUSE OR NEGLECT PROCEEDINGS.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 32A-4-27 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1993, Chapter 77, Section 121, as amended) is amended to read:
"32A-4-27. INTERVENTION--PERSONS PERMITTED TO INTERVENE.--
A. At any stage of an abuse or neglect proceeding, a person described in this subsection may be permitted to intervene as a party: [with a motion for affirmative relief
(1) a foster parent whom the child has resided with for at least six months;
(2)] (1) a relative within the fifth degree of consanguinity with whom the child has resided;
[(3)] (2) a stepparent with whom the child has resided; or
[(4)] (3) a person who wishes to become the child's permanent guardian.
B. When determining whether a person described in Subsection A of this section should be permitted to intervene, the court shall consider:
(1) the person's rationale for the purposed intervention; and
(2) whether intervention is in the best interest of the child.
C. When the court determines that the child's best interest will be served as a result of intervention by a person described in Subsection A of this section, the court may permit intervention unless the party opposing intervention can demonstrate that a viable plan for reunification with the respondents is in progress and that intervention could impede the progress of the reunification plan.
D. The persons described in this subsection shall be permitted to intervene during any stage of an abuse or neglect proceeding:
(1) a parent of the child who is not named in the petition alleging abuse or neglect; and
(2) when the child is an Indian child, the child's Indian tribe.
E. The child's foster parent shall be permitted to intervene when:
(1) the child has resided with the foster parent for at least six months;
[(1)] (2) the foster parent desires to adopt the child;
[(2) the child has resided with the foster parent for at least six months within the year prior to the termination of parental rights;
(3) a motion for termination of parental rights has been filed by a person other than the foster parent; and
(4) bonding between the child and the child's foster parent is alleged as a reason for terminating parental rights in the motion for termination of parental rights] and
(3) the department moves the child or proposes to move the child to:
(a) a different foster care placement;
(b) place the child with a relative; or
(c) return the child to a biological parent.
F. The foster parent, preadoptive parent or relative providing care for the child shall be given notice of, and an opportunity to be heard in, any review or hearing with respect to the child, except that this subsection shall not be construed to require that any foster parent, preadoptive parent or relative providing care for the child be made a party to such a review or hearing solely on the basis of the notice and opportunity to be heard."
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