1 July 2024 means a hopfully easier birth family connection for adoptees born in Minnesota

I was fortunate to have been raised by the parents who gave birth to me. I knew all four grandparents and two great grandparents. I have not had to wonder where my Irish, German, Danish, French, other ethnicity, or where my short stature came from. I have friends who have provided a really wonderful family to a child given up for adoption. I have friends and extended family members who themselves are adopted or who gave a child a chance at a life they were not able to provide at the time of their baby’s birth. There are questions that arise at times due to my occupation as a professional genealogist. Many years ago, a 16-year-old friend of my then teenage daughter asked me to help find his birth mother and told him to come back to me when he was 18. That was difficult to do. Not every adoptee will be inclined to search, but at least this step is available should the inclination start today or five years from now.

Today, 1 July 2024, marks a big step in information sought by adoptees in Minnesota. Born in Minnesota and 18 or older means they can request their original birth certificate (OBC) from the Minnesota Department of Health. The request form also provides who else can request the OBC. This is not the court adoption file nor is it the information kept by an orphanage or other entity. There is no guarantee that the OBC exists or is completely filled in. The MDH website states the following:

“We will provide requesters with the following, if they are available on the date of the request:  

  • A noncertified copy of the adopted person’s original birth record 
  • Any evidence of the adoption filed with the State Registrar 
  • A copy of a contact preference form if birth parent(s) on the original record submitted one (Contact preference forms can be submitted at any time; only forms submitted prior to your request will be included.)
  • Report of any Affidavit of Disclosure or Non-Disclosure filed by a birth parent on the original record, on or before June 30, 2024. We’ll provide information included on disclosure documents, if allowable.

This request can only be fulfilled by MDH; it’s not available through county vital records offices. We will notify you if we cannot find the requested birth record.” 

The MDH website also discusses how the OBC was created and then replaced by a “new” birth certificate once the adoption was finalized. The MDH website has other important details. https://www.health.state.mn.us/people/vitalrecords/adoption.html

The form to request the OBC is here Request for Original Birth Record Information under Minnesota Statute 144.2252 (PDF). It is a two-page form and the fee is $40 to submit your request. 

© 2024, Paula Stuart-Warren. All rights reserved.

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2 comments on “1 July 2024 means a hopfully easier birth family connection for adoptees born in Minnesota

  1. And sadly one of the people who worked very hard over the years to get this legislation passed died this past month. James Hamilton, an attorney and adoptive parent from Saint Paul, was that person.

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