Completing an adoption is a joyous time for both the adoptive parents and the adopted child. The final adoption hearing means the adoption is done, and the stability and permanency that are so important for a child have been cemented for the future. Completing an adoption means that the child is now part of the adoptive family, just like a biological child. The law makes no distinction between adoptive children and biological children, after the adoption is complete. Like the birth of a biological child, completing an adoption means a new birth certificate.
Although most of the procedure and paperwork for termination of parental rights and adoption is done far before the end of the case, after the final hearing, there is still some paperwork to deal with, including a new birth certificate. After the final adoption hearing, a Certificate of Adoption form is completed by the district court in the county where the final hearing was held. The Certificate of Adoption form is then mailed to the Office of Vital Records, which is located in the Minnesota Department of Health. The Office of Vital Records will rely on the information contained in the Certificate of Adoption to create a new birth record. The original birth record showing the child’s original name and biological parent information will be completely replaced with the new birth record. In addition, any correspondence relating to the original birth record will also be replaced. Adoptive parents should keep in mind that the above-described process pertains to those adoptions that are completed in Minnesota. There is a different process if the adopted child was born in a foreign country.
The information contained in the original birth record can only be released under specific circumstances as related to Minnesota law. Under Minnesota statute 144.218, the birth parent does have access to the original birth record. The birth parent may obtain a noncertified copy of the birth record. While this may be used for the information of the birth parent, it cannot be used for any legal purpose. The adopted child may also request a copy of the original birth record, once he or she is over the age of nineteen. However, the birth parent may refuse permission to release this information to the adopted child. If that is the case, the Office of Vital Records will send notice to the adopted child that the information is not available.
If you have questions about birth certificates, call us today at (320) 299-4249. We can talk with you about adoption and birth records.