New Mexico pledges support for tribal adoptions in state law

Oct 12, 2021


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — New Mexico’s child protection department is pledging to restore the agency’s credibility.

Secretary Barbara J. Vigil says she will repair the agency's reputation after a series of scandals. Most recently, the state Legislature learned it was given misleading child maltreatment data by her predecessor. Vigil says the Children, Youth and Families Department will be more transparent and accountable. She's giving a speech at the state's Indian Child Welfare Act summit Tuesday.

The summit is named for a federal law that prioritizes tribal members in adoptions of Native American children. Supporters fear the U.S. Supreme Court could invalidate the law soon. Vigil says the state will continue to prioritize tribes regardless.