Minnesota Adoption Basics | Adopting in MN

Estate Planning for Children

Required Consents

An individual over 14 years of age may be adopted only if she or he consents. Minn. Stat. § 259.24, subd. 3

If an unmarried parent under age 18 wants to place a child for adoption, he or she must be offered consultation with an attorney, clergy, or physician before consenting to the adoption. The consent of the minor’s parents or guardian, if any, also is required. If the minor has no parent or guardian to give consent, the Commissioner of Human Services may do so. Minn. Stat. § 259.24, subd. 2

Order of Preference

Child-placing agencies and courts involved in adoption or foster placement proceedings must consider placing a child according to the following order of preference: (1) relatives or (2) an important friend with whom the child has resided or had significant contact. Minn. Stat. §§ 259.57, subd. 2; 259.77; 260C.212, subd. 2

Communication or Contact Agreements

At the time of an adoption, the birth parents and adoptive parents may make a legal agreement that while the child is growing up they will share information or have contact. This agreement must be incorporated in a court order to be enforceable. Minn. Stat. § 259.58

Adoptee’s Access to Other Information

Adopted persons age 19 and older may ask an adoption agency to help determine whether a biological parent or adult sibling wants to have contact or share information. The agency also will transmit nonidentifying health information relevant to any genetically related parties to an adoption. A reimbursement fee may be charged for these services. Minn. Stat. § 259.83

Adoptee’s Access to Original Birth Certificate

An adopted person age 19 or older may request the information on his or her original birth certificate. The agent of the Commissioner of Human Services or a licensed child-placement agency must try to notify each parent identified on the certificate of the request. If the birth parents agree, the information is disclosed.

  • If the agent of the commissioner or the licensed child-placement agency cannot notify a birth parent and if the parent has not filed a consent to disclosure, the information may be disclosed as follows:
  • If the person was adopted before August 1, 1977, he or she may petition a court for disclosure, which will be granted if the court determines that it is more beneficial than nondisclosure
  • If the person was adopted on or after August 1, 1977, the information must be released
  • If a parent has filed an unrevoked affidavit of nondisclosure, the information shall not be disclosed until the affidavit is revoked.
  • If a birth parent dies without revoking a nondisclosure request, the adopted person may petition the court for disclosure. The petition will be granted if the court determines that disclosure would be more beneficial than nondisclosure. Minn. Stat. § 259.89

The content of this and any related posts has been adopted or copied from the Minnesota House of Representatives Research Department’s December 2010 publication, Youth and the Law – A Guide for Legislators, written as a collaborative effort by the Research Department’s legislative analysts.