Skip to main content Skip to office menu Skip to footer
Capital IconMinnesota Legislature

Adoption records

Published (5/16/2008)
By Patty Ostberg
Share on: 

A pregnant unwed mother in the 1950s couldn’t have foreseen that in 2009 her child given up for adoption would possibly contact her because of having direct access to their original birth certificate. With no affidavits to protect the mother’s identity at that time, many just thought their secret would remain silent.

Sponsored by Rep. Kathy Tingelstad (R-Andover) and Sen. Ann Rest (DFL-New Hope), HF3371/SF3193* would allow adults age 19 and older to get a copy of their original birth certificate, if there is no affidavit of disclosure on file. The change would honor affidavits dating to 1981.

Presented to the governor May 13, the bill was passed 78-52 the House May 12, and 53-13 the next day by the Senate.

The Health Department now has more than 11,000 affidavits of disclosure on file. Of those, about 1,200 are affidavits of nondisclosure, Tingelstad said. The department would be required to provide information and educational materials to birth parents, if the changes take effect.

“Some of these children were the product of rape or incest. Some of these birth parents do not want to be contacted,” said Rep. Mary Liz Holberg (R-Lakeville), who added that current law allows adoption agencies to work with adopted persons to find birth parents and act as an intermediary.

“I think that it is so wrong that we would expose birth parents that made those decisions in those different times and did it with an expectation of privacy,” Holberg said. “Sometimes the risk of harm to one individual is not worth the ability to satisfy a need or want of another.”

“Think of the joy of the daughter showing up on the birth mother’s doorstep and the happiness on the other side of the coin,” countered Rep. Ron Erhardt (R-Edina). Perhaps there are mothers now who are willing to accept contact, he said.

Session Weekly More...

Session Weekly Home

Related Stories

At Issue: On the forefront
Minnesota looks to set the national stage for health care reform
(view full story) Published 5/30/2008

At Issue: Health reform still in play
Governor nixes months of work; supporters remain optimistic
(view full story) Published 5/16/2008

Minnesota Index
Figures and statistics on elder Minnesotans
(view full story) Published 5/2/2008

At Issue: Regulating patient safety
Hospitals sometimes choose between more nurses or rationing care
(view full story) Published 4/25/2008

At Issue: Hungry for help
Food shelf needs are growing across state
(view full story) Published 4/18/2008

At Issue: No rooms for those in crisis
Psychiatric beds are full, but solutions are as complex as the problem
(view full story) Published 3/28/2008

At Issue: An umbrella of coverage
A year in the making, health care proposal lays out an aggressive timeline
(view full story) Published 3/21/2008

At Issue: Primary care — your life depends on it
A system overhaul is needed, working on a solution
(view full story) Published 3/7/2008

Minnesota Index
Figures and statistics on health insurance in Minnesota
(view full story) Published 2/29/2008