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Adopted people in Minnesota will get access to birth records starting July 1

New Minnesota law lets adopted people have their official birth records
New Minnesota law lets adopted people have their official birth records 02:22

CHASKA, Minn. — A new state law could give answers to life-long questions for adopted people in Minnesota.

Starting July 1, adopted people 18 years and older will be eligible to request a copy of their original birth records, without the permission of their birth parents. 

According to the Minnesota Department of Health, nearly 150,000 adopted Minnesotans will gain access after July 1.

At 75. Barbara Mein is still searching for answers. 

"I don't remember when I was told I was adopted, but five days old my adopted dad met my birth mom in a corner in north Minneapolis and he handed her money and she gave me to him," Mein said.

Mein was born in 1948, supposedly to Lois and Arnold Breckenridge. But based on old documents she's collected, the names and the address provided weren't likely accurate. 

"It says that they were fictitious," she said.   

Barbara Mein WCCO

As Mein and her husband Kent began to grow their family, her curiosity grew, too. She didn't know her family medical history. Several attempts to investigate her family history in 1979, 2019, and through online DNA services, came up short in finding her birth parents.

Thanks to the new state law, she may get answers. 

"I'm afraid that they're going to unseal it and then just give me the names that I do have," she said.

For the first time, adopted people can receive copies of their official birth records even without permission from their birth parents. They document will include the names of birth parents, adopted person's name at birth, the place of birth, and any additional details that were provided at the time of the adoption. 

For past and future adoptions, birth parents can submit a form indicating whether they want to be contacted and any additional notes. 

"Maybe I have a half-sister out there somewhere or a brother," she said. "A lot of what ifs."

Regardless of the outcome, she remains cautiously optimistic. 

"I don't know, we'll see (laughs)!" she said.

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