After a child born in Minnesota is adopted, the original birth record is replaced with a record showing the new information. The original record is confidential. It can be released only to a birth parent listed on the record, the adoptee if the birth parent(s) have given written consent, or by court order.
If the child was born in another country and adopted by Minnesota residents, a Minnesota birth record is created. A certificate will state that it is not evidence of United States citizenship.
Birth Record Amendments
A birth record amendment is any change made to items appearing on a certificate either after a certificate is issued or more than one year after the birth, whichever occurs first. Requests must be sent by mail to the Office of Vital Records. A notarized application, $40 review fee, and supporting documentation is required.
Corrections to Birth and Death Records
A correction is a change made to a birth or death record before a certificate is issued and within one year of the date of the event. Changes to health information on a birth record and medical information on a death record, even after issuance, are also considered corrections. These corrections must be done by the Office of Vital Records.
Data Practices - birth and death recordsBirth records
The legal and demographic information on most birth records is public. Information on records for children born to unmarried parents may be confidential, unless the mother indicates at the time of birth that the record should be public. All health information and social security numbers are private.
All data on a death record is public, including the medical data and decedent’s social security number.
Fetal death reports
The data on fetal death reports is classified the same as birth records.
Death Record Amendments
A death record amendment is any change made to demographic items appearing on a certificate either after a certificate is issued or more than one year after the death, whichever occurs first. Requests within five years after the death can be processed by local issuance offices. Requests made more than five years after death must sent to the Office of Vital Records.
Death Registration by Family
A family that chooses not to use the services of a funeral home should register the death directly with the Office of Vital Records. Please refer families to the Registration and Amendments Unit at 651-201-5961.
A birth or death not registered within one year is considered a delayed registration and must be registered directly with the Office of Vital Records. Customers should call the Registration Unit at 651-201-5961 for forms and information.
A planned birth occurring outside of a birthing facility must be registered directly with the Office of Vital Records. A midwife or parent registering the birth must contact the Registration Unit at 651-201-5961.
Each county is required to report monthly and annual counts of marriage certificates filed to the Office of Vital Records. The Office of Vital Records does not register marriages.
A parent notice or “parent verification” is a form for parents to review the information on their child’s birth record. It may be used to request corrections (if needed) and to order certificates.
There are two ways for an unmarried father to be added to his child’s birth record.
Recognition of Parentage
This is a voluntary form signed by both parents and filed with the Office of Vital Records. There is no fee to file a Recognition of Parentage (ROP). Certified copies are issued only by the Office of Vital Records.
The Minnesota Department of Human Services administers the Recognition of Parentage Program. ROP forms and other parentage forms may be found on Minnesota Department of Human Services Forms website.
This is a court order legally establishing paternity. If a certified copy of the order and a $40 review fee are submitted to the Office of Vital Records, the original birth record is replaced with a record showing the father’s information. The original record is confidential and cannot be issued without court-ordered direction.
All government records must be maintained in accordance with a record retention schedule. Birth and death records are maintained forever, but many of the documents you deal with daily should not be kept indefinitely. Retention Schedule Number 04-115 (PDF) was created in 2004 for use by local issuance offices to help manage birth and death records.
For more information about county records management and retention please contact the Association of Minnesota Counties (AMC).
In order to get a certified copy of a birth or death record, a person must have tangible interest in that record. Limiting issuance of certified copies to people with tangible interest is one way to combat identity theft and fraud.
Because some birth records are confidential, access to those records is limited even further.
VA Birth and Death Certificates
A VA copy of a birth or death certificate can be issued to a veteran, the surviving spouse or next of kin of a veteran, or a representative of the Department of Veterans Affairs for no charge. VA birth and death certificates may only be used for VA-related purposes, such as seeking benefits.