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Minnesota Adoption Laws

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Access to Adoption Records

Who May Access Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 259.83; 259.89

Nonidentifying information may be provided to:
  • The adoptee who is age 19 or older
  • The adoptive parent
Identifying information may be provided to:
  • The adoptee who is age 19 or older
  • The birth parents
  • Adult genetic siblings, if disclosure does not violate the confidentiality of the birth parents or if they give consent

Access to Nonidentifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.83

For adoptions finalized on or after 8-1-1994, the adoptee, if age 19 years or older, or the adoptive parent may receive the detailed medical and social history that was provided at the time of the adoption. In addition, the adult adoptee or the adoptive parent may request the agency to contact the birth parents to request current nonidentifying social and medical history of the adoptee's birth family.

When the agency receives information about a medical or genetic condition that has affected or may affect the physical or mental health of genetically related persons, the agency shall make a diligent effort to contact those persons in order to transmit the health information.

Mutual Access to Identifying Information
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 259.83; 259.89

Agencies shall provide assistance and counseling services when the adoptive parents, birth parents, or adoptee who is age 19 or older request current information. The agency shall contact the other adult persons or the adoptive parents of a minor child in a personal and confidential manner to determine whether there is a desire to share information or to have contact. The agency shall provide services to adult genetic siblings if there is no known violation of the confidentiality of a birth parent or if the birth parent gives written consent. The adoptee must also be advised of other siblings who were adopted or relinquished to the commissioner but not adopted.

In adoptive placements made on and after 8-1-1982, the agency shall obtain from the birth parents an affidavit attesting that:

  • The birth parent has been informed of the right of the adoptee at age 19 to request the name, last known address, birth date, and birthplace of the birth parents named on the original birth record.
  • Each birth parent may file an affidavit objecting to the release of information about that birth parent, and that parent only, to the adoptee.
  • If the birth parent does not file an affidavit objecting to release of information before the adoptee reaches age 19, the information will be released upon request.
  • Notwithstanding the filing of an affidavit, the adoptee may petition the court for release of identifying information about a birth parent.
  • The birth parent shall then have the opportunity to present evidence to the court that nondisclosure of identifying information is of greater benefit to the birth parent than disclosure to the adoptee.
  • Any objection filed by the birth parent shall become invalid when withdrawn by the birth parent or when the birth parent dies.

Upon receipt of a death record for the birth parent, the agency shall release the identifying information to the adoptee if requested.

Access to Original Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.89

An adoptee who is age 19 or older may request the Commissioner of Health to disclose the information on the adoptee's original birth record. Within 5 days, the commissioner shall notify the Department of Human Services or child-placing agency of the request. Within 6 months after receiving the request, the department or agency shall make reasonable efforts to notify each birth parent.

If the department is unable to notify a parent identified on the original birth record within 6 months, and if neither parent has at any time filed an unrevoked consent to disclosure, the information may be disclosed as follows:

  • If the person was adopted prior to 8-1-1977, he or she may petition the court for disclosure, and the court shall grant the petition if, after consideration of the interests of all known persons involved, the court determines that disclosure of the information would be of greater benefit than nondisclosure.
  • If the person was adopted on or after 8-1-1977, the commissioner shall release the information to the adoptee.

If either birth parent has ever filed with the commissioner an unrevoked affidavit stating that the information on the original birth record should not be disclosed, the commissioner shall not disclose the information until the affidavit is revoked by the filing of a consent to disclosure by that parent.

If a parent named on the original birth record has died, and at any time prior to the death the parent has filed an unrevoked affidavit stating that the information not be disclosed, the adoptee may petition the court of original jurisdiction of the adoption proceeding for disclosure.

The State Registrar shall provide a copy of an adoptee's original birth record to an authorized representative of a federally recognized American Indian Tribe for the sole purpose of determining the adoptee's eligibility for enrollment or membership in the Tribe.

Where the Information Can Be Located

Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)

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