Minnesota

Minnesota

Adoption

Access to Adoption Records

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (541 KB) of this publication.

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

Nonidentifying information may be provided to:

  • The adopted person who is age 19 or older
  • The adoptive parent

Identifying information may be provided to:

  • The adopted person 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 August 1, 1994, the adopted person, if age 19 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 adopted person or the adoptive parent may request the agency to contact the birth parents to request current nonidentifying social and medical history of the adopted person’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 adopted person 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 adopted person also must be advised of other siblings who were adopted or relinquished to the commissioner but not adopted.

In adoptive placements made on and after August 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 adopted person 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 adopted person.
  • If the birth parent does not file an affidavit objecting to release of information before the adopted person reaches age 19, the information will be released upon request.
  • Notwithstanding the filing of an affidavit, the adopted person 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 adopted person.
  • 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 adopted person if requested.

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

An adopted person who is age 19 or older may request the Commissioner of Health to disclose the information on his or her 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 August 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 August 1, 1977, the commissioner shall release the information to the adopted person.

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 adopted person may petition the court of original jurisdiction of the adoption proceeding for disclosure.

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

Where the Information Can Be Located

Adoption Archive, Minnesota Department of Human Services

(Back to Top)

Collection of Family Information About Adopted Persons and Their Birth Families

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (617 KB) of this publication.

Agency or Person Preparing the Report
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.43
A birth parent or an agency, if an agency placement, shall provide a prospective adoptive parent with complete, thorough, detailed, and current social and medical histories of the child being adopted, if information is known after reasonable inquiry.

Contents of Report About the Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.43
The child’s social and medical histories must be provided on a form or forms prepared by the commissioner and must include background and health histories specific to the child. Applicable background and health information about the child includes:

  • The child’s current health condition, behavior, and demeanor
  • Placement history
  • Education history
  • Sibling information
  • Birth, medical, dental, and immunization information

Redacted copies of pertinent records, assessments, and evaluations shall be attached to the child’s social and medical histories.

Contents of Report About the Birth Family
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.43
The social and medical histories must include background and health histories specific to the child’s birth parents and other birth relatives. Applicable background information about the child’s birth parents and other birth relatives includes:

  • General background information
  • Education and employment histories
  • Physical health and mental health histories
  • Reasons for the child’s placement

When the Report Is Made
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.43
The child’s social and medical histories must be provided to the prospective adoptive family prior to adoptive placement, provided to the Department of Human Services with application for adoption assistance, if applicable, and filed with the court when the adoption petition is filed. In a direct adoptive placement, the child’s social and medical histories must be filed with the court with the motion for temporary preadoptive custody.

Exceptions for Stepparent or Relative Adoptions
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.43
These requirements apply to any adoption under this chapter, except a stepparent or an adult adoption under § 259.241.

(Back to Top)

Intestate Inheritance Rights for Adopted Children

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (524 KB) of this publication.

Birth Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.59
The birth parents shall be relieved of all parental responsibilities and shall not have any rights over the adopted person or the adopted person’s property.The child shall not owe the birth parents or their relatives any legal duty, nor shall the child inherit from the birth parents or their family, except that the adoption of a child by a stepparent shall not in any way change the status of the relationship between the child and the child’s birth parent who is the spouse of the petitioning stepparent.

If a parent dies and a child is subsequently adopted by a stepparent who is the spouse of a surviving parent, any rights of inheritance of the child or the child’s issue from or through the deceased parent of the child that existed at the time of the death of that parent shall not be affected by the adoption.

Adoptive Parents in Relation to Adopted Person
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.59
By virtue of the adoption, the adopted person shall inherit from the adoptive parent(s) or their relatives as though the adopted person were the birth child of the adoptive parent(s).

If the adopted person dies intestate, the adoptive parent(s) and their relatives shall inherit the adopted person’s estate.

Adopted Persons Who Are Not Included in a Will
Citation: Ann. Stat. §§ 524.2-302; 524.2.705
If a testator’s will fails to provide for any child who was adopted after the execution of the will, the omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate as follows:

  • If the testator had no child living when the will was executed, an omitted after-adopted child receives a share in the estate equal in value to that which the child would have received had the testator died intestate, unless the will gave all or substantially all the estate to the other parent of the omitted child and that other parent survives the testator and is entitled to take under the will.
  • If the testator had one or more children living when the will was executed, and the will gave property or an interest in property to one or more of the then-living children, an omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share in the testator’s estate as follows:
    • The portion of the estate in which the omitted after-adopted child is entitled to share is limited to bequests made to the testator’s then-living children under the will.
    • The omitted after-adopted child is entitled to receive the share of the estate, as limited above, that the child would have received had the testator included all omitted after-born and after-adopted children with the children to whom bequests were made under the will and had given an equal share of the estate to each child.

The above does not apply if:

  • It appears from the will that the omission was intentional.
  • The testator provided for the after-adopted child by transfer outside the will with the intent that the transfer be in lieu of a testamentary provision.

Adopted persons and their respective descendants, if appropriate to the class, are included in class gifts and other terms of relationship in accordance with the rules for intestate succession.

(Back to Top)

State Recognition of Intercountry Adoptions Finalized Abroad

To better understand this issue and to view it across States, download the PDF (414 KB) of this publication.

Effect and Recognition of a Foreign Adoption Decree
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.60, Subd. 1

The adoption of a child by a resident of this State under the laws of a foreign country is valid and binding under the laws of this State if the validity of the foreign adoption has been verified by the granting of an IR-3 visa for the child by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Readoption After an Intercountry Adoption
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 259.60, Subd. 2 & 3

A person, whose adoption of a child under the laws of a foreign country is valid in this State, may petition the district court in the county where the adoptive parent resides for a decree confirming and recognizing the adoption, changing the child’s legal name, if requested in the petition, and authorizing the Commissioner of Health to issue a new birth record for the child.A court shall issue the decree upon receipt of the following documents:

  • A petition by the adoptive parent stating that he or she completed adoption of the child under the laws of a foreign country and that the adoption is valid in this State and requesting that the court issue a decree confirming and recognizing the adoption, changing the child’s legal name, if desired, and authorizing the Commissioner of Health to issue a new birth record for the child
  • A copy of the child’s original birth record, if available
  • A copy of the final adoption certificate or equivalent as issued by the foreign jurisdiction
  • A copy of the child’s passport including the U.S. visa indicating IR-3 immigration status
  • Certified English translations of any of the documents listed above that are not written in English

If a child is adopted by a resident of this State under the laws of a foreign country or if a resident of this State brings a child into the State under an IR-3 or IR-4 visa issued for the child by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the postadoption reporting requirements of the country in which the child was adopted, applicable at the time of the child’s adoption, must be given full faith and credit by the courts of this State and apply to the adoptive placement of that child.

Application for a U.S. Birth Certificate
Citation: Ann. Stat. § 144.218(2)

In proceedings for the adoption of a person who was born in a foreign country, the court, upon evidence presented by the Commissioner of Human Services from information secured at the port of entry or upon evidence from other reliable sources, may make findings of fact as to the date and place of birth and parentage. Upon receipt of certified copies of the court findings and the order or decree of adoption, a certificate of adoption, or a certified copy of a decree issued under § 259.60, the State Registrar shall register a birth record in the new name of the adoptee.

The certified copies of the court findings and the order or decree of adoption, certificate of adoption, or decree issued under § 259.60 are confidential and shall not be disclosed except pursuant to court order or § 144.2252. The birth record shall state the place of birth as specifically as possible and that the vital record is not evidence of U.S. citizenship.


Leave a Reply