2016 Session ends

The 2016 Legislative Session has ended. While the Minnesota bill for adoptee access to original birth certificates (HF 2247/SF 2132) passed Senate HHSH Committee, it did not advance further. We are committed to passing OBC legislation and will build on this year’s successes and be ready for the 2017 Session.

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Minnesota’s adoptee access bill 2015-2016

HF 2247/ SF 2132
Chief authors: Rep. Melissa Hortman (D), Sen. Michelle Benson (R)
Read full text, see co-authors, and track bills at: https://www.revisor.mn.gov/bills/bill.php?b=Senate&f=SF2132&ssn=0&y=2015

Bill summary

  • 99.5% of MN-born adult adoptees would be able to receive their original birth certificates by request from Minnesota Department of Health Vital Records.
  • The remaining 0.5% of adoptees who have an affidavit of non-disclosure attached to their birth certificate would have an appeal process through the court.
  • Birthparents will continue to have the option of filing a non-disclosure. (Only 1 non-disclosure was filed during 2010-2014.)
  • Birthparents will be able to state their preference for contact (“Yes, I would like contact”, “No, I do not want contact”, or “Yes I want contact, but through an intermediary.”) This contact preference option has been added to many states that have recently passed access legislation and helps the adoptee know if reconnection is desired and includes a birthparent’s contact information.
This bill is a compromise based upon a series of discussions with stakeholders during Fall-Winter 2014-2015 facilitated by the Citizens League of Minnesota and paid for by Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota and Children’s Home Society of Minnesota (the two largest adoption agencies in the State of Minnesota). The full list of participants and the statement of agreement is viewable at: http://citizensleague.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/511.Findings-to-Improve-Access-to-Birth-Records-in-Minnesota.pdf   


Bill Endorsers:

Adopted and Fostered Adults of the African Diaspora –  https://afaad.wordpress.com

American Adoption Congress – http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org

Children’s Home Society of MN –  http://www.chsfs.org

Concerned United Birthparents – MN chapter – http://www.cubirthparents.org/twin_cities.php

Evolve Adoption and Family Services –  http://evolveservices.org

Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota –  http://www.lssmn.org

Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform – http://mnadoptreform.org

MN Adopt – https://www.mnadopt.org

North American Council on Adoptable Children –  http://www.nacac.org


What happens next?

The companion bills HF 2247/SF 2132 were introduced April 2015 at the end of the first year of the 2015-2016 Biennium Legislative session. Public education and discussion occurred during the interim May 2015 – March 2016. The Senate bill SF 2132 passed through the Health and Human Services and Housing Committee on March 24, 2016 and was referred to Judiciary Committee. ……..

For more information and how you can help

Send an email to:  MnAdoptReform@yahoo.com;




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Why All U.S. States Should Allow Adoptees Access to Their Authentic Birth Certificates


by Mariah Riben



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Costco Debate on adoptee access to birth records

December 2015 Costco Connection Magazine published results of debate:


see online at: http://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/201512?pg=13#pg13.


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Citizens League of Minnesota participates in drafting MN bill


           A bill has been introduced in the  2015-2016 Minnesota Legislature as a result of working with the Citizens League of Minnesota from October 2014 to January 2015. Adoption stakeholders in MN participated in discussions that resulted in a consensus agreement and has been endorsed by the following stakeholders:

Participants and the consensus agreement from the Citizens League discussions can be accessed at:
The bill allows the vast majority (99%) of MN adoptees to receive their original birth certificate (without parental permission, paying search fees, or enduring excessive wait times, etc.). The remainder of adoptees who have a Non-disclosure attached to their original birth certificate (0.5%) would have a due process (court option) of appeal.
In addition, birthparents may indicate their contact preference (“Yes to contact”, “No to contact”, “Yes to contact through an intermediary”).
An extensive public information campaign is planned to inform adoptees and birth/first parents of changes to adoption law.  An example of a public information outreach (in Ohio, where adoptees’ access to their birth certificates was restored in 2015) can be viewed at:
This issue affects more than 1,000,000 Minnesota stakeholders in adoption (adoptees, birth parents, adoptive parents) plus relatives and friends of stakeholders.
 If you’d like to support efforts to pass this legislation, send an email to: mnadoptreform@yahoo.com
 Also, you can follow MnAdoptReform on Twitter and Facebook
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Veteran’s Day – Adoptees Without Liberty


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November National Adoption Awareness Month

Event November 8 –  “Adoption – In Our Own Words” was fabulous thanks to authors, speakers and co-sponsors American Adoption Congress, AdopteesMN, Concerned United Birthparents (MN), and Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform.

(To see all November National Adoption Month events in Minnesota, click on Events tab above.)


Adoptee, author, and actor Nikki Abramson does a skit, “Where are you from?”


Kate St. Vincent Vogl MC’s the Event and shares her journey as an adoptee, mother, and author.




Judy Liautaud, author and birthmother, reads from her book, “Sunlight on My Shadow”

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Progress in other states:

16 States currently allow adoptees to access their own original birth certificate (OR, NH, ME, AL, WA, DE, TN, IL, CO, RI, NJ, OH, CT, MT, and Alaska and Kansas which never denied access.)

States that recently passed access legislation:

Connecticut:   July 5, 2015

Montana:  passed April 2015 – became effective 10/1/2015 http://laws.leg.mt.gov/legprd/LAW0210W$BSIV.ActionQuery?P_BILL_NO1=397&P_BLTP_BILL_TYP_CD=HB&Z_ACTION=Find&P_SESS=20151#sed_table

Ohio: March 2015  http://abcnews.go.com/US/daughter-adoption-reunites-mom-decades-searching/story?id=30673509

Colorado  (effective January 1, 2016) https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/adoption

and https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/cdphe/adoption

Colorado application: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/sites/default/files/CHED_Form_ApplicationtoRequestanOriginalBirthCertificate_1214.pdf

New Jersey  passed  5/24/14 (effective 2017) http://www.nj.com/politics/index.ssf/2014/05/christie_signs_law_releasing_adoptees_birth_certificates_in_2017.html

 States working on legislation: 

Florida, Iowa, Minnesota, New York, Texas, Massachusetts (additional access), Pennsylvania, Indiana, and Missouri.

For more info, see http://www.americanadoptioncongress.org

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StarTribune: Letter of the Day (Nov. 23): Antiquated laws

Today is National Adoption Day. The Minnesota Coalition for Adoption Reform will again be lobbying for the right of adoptees to have access to their original birth certificates. Seventy-four years ago, Minnesota Law 1939, chapter 89, section 1, placed adoptees’ original birth certificates “under seal” and under a culture of shame and secrecy.

Open adoption has demonstrated that both adoptees and birth mothers have a need to know. Secrecy kills.

Antiquated laws? Start with that one.



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