Skip to content

Please note an important change coming regarding Original Birth Records (birth certificates):

Effective July 1, 2024, adult adopted persons will be able to request and receive original birth record information if:

  • They were born in Minnesota, or
  • A Minnesota child-placing agency was responsible for or supervised their adoptive placement.

As of Aug. 1, 2023, birth/expectant parents will be able to indicate their preference for contact on the Birth Parent Contact Preference Form, developed by the Minnesota Department of Health. Effective June 30, 2024, all previously filed consents to disclosure or affidavits of nondisclosure become void and will no longer be in effect.

Also effective July 1, 2024, the age at which adopted persons may request post-adoption services from agencies will be 18 or older, rather than 19 or older.

This upcoming change is only effective for Original Birth Records. Adoption records remain classified as confidential data.

More information about accessing original birth records is available on MDH’s Birth Records and Adoption webpage.

Who can search?
In Minnesota, adoption records are classified as confidential data.
State law specifies that the following individuals can initiate a search:

  • Adopted individual 19 years and older
  • Genetic (biologic) sibling, 19 years and older of an adoptee
  • Adoptive parents
  • Birth parents

How do I get started?

If you do not know the adoption agency or county that facilitated the adoption, you can complete the Foster Adopt Minnesota Search form to get the name of the placing agency and the district court where the adoption was finalized.

If you know the adoption agency or county that facilitated the adoption, you may contact them directly for Post Adoption Services.

Can a child of an adoptee initiate a search?
If you are a child or grandchild of an adoptee, you must have written permission from the adopted person to request a search. The written permission must be notarized. If you are a child of an adoptee and the adopted individual is deceased, you must provide the death certificate and your birth certificate.

When will I be notified?
Currently, the database used to search for adoption records is being updated by the Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS). Because of this, searches are taking longer than 30 days.

What do I do with the information I receive?
You may contact the identified agency to discuss how to obtain the information you are seeking. Be aware that Minnesota law allows agencies to charge a fee for their services. In some situations, you may petition the district court and ask that both the natural birth and adoption records be released to you.

What about genealogy?

The Department of Human Services began maintaining adoption records in 1917, and in very few instances, has records prior to 1915. For records prior to 1915, check with the Minnesota History Center: http://libguides.mnhs.org/adoption/orphanage

If you are seeking genealogy information, Minnesota law allows all adoption records to become public on the l00th anniversary of the adoption decree (the date the adoption was finalized). In these cases, please fill out the MN Adopt Search form and indicate the file is 100 years old.

Are there other resources for search services?
Adoption Search Angels –
 Adoption Search Angels volunteer their time and talents to help families touched by adoption. Some may charge a nominal fee. Please contact the MN ADOPT Post Search Specialist at 612-746-5135 for more information.

The “Practice Guide for Post Adoption Search Services” lists many resources and is available on the Department of Human Services website at: https://edocs.dhs.state.mn.us/lfserver/Public/DHS-4701-ENG.
*This information was provided by the Minnesota Department of Human Services

Motivation to search
Adopted individuals, birth parents, adoptive parents of minor children, siblings, and others touched by adoption may choose to engage in a search process for a variety of reasons. While some individuals have always had a desire to search, others may not have any interest. The basis for performing a search may be as unique as the individuals who choose to search. Some of the most common reasons for searching may include: the need to obtain medical information or to have other comprehensive information in emergency situations; knowledge regarding the circumstances resulting in placement or experiences during placement with a sibling from whom they were separated; and/or major milestones in life (graduation, marriage, birth, death). Some individuals may feel that the information may fill a void or answer curiosities. In Minnesota, adoption records and original birth certificates are sealed upon the finalization of an adoption, maintaining the confidentiality of the contents regarding identifying information. [National Adoption Information Clearinghouse (NAIC), Access to Family Information by Adopted Persons: Summary of State Laws] Adopted persons age 19 and older and adopted or adoptive parents of minor children may obtain non-identifying medical and background information from an adoption record without an adoption agency violating confidentiality. [Minn. Stat., section 259.83]

Back To Top
Skip to content
Share via
Copy link