New Minnesota law allows adoptees to get original birth records

Growing up, Joe Duea knew he was adopted, but he never knew his birth mother.

He always assumed when he turned 18, he could get his original birth records, but that won't be the case until next month.

"Super excited to actually see it on an official document, which would be a pretty amazing thing to me," Duea told FOX 9.

Beginning July 1, adoptees born in Minnesota can get a copy of their original birth records, which show their name at birth and place at birth and the names of their biological parents.

Under current law, birth parents can fill out an affidavit to decide whether to provide or restrict access to those records, but the affidavits will expire at the end of the month.

"I think it's highly important in a sense to help with their identity and the fact that their story is their story and I guess, it's nice to be able to tell it a little bit more fully," Duea said. 

Once the new law goes into effect, people who place children up for adoption will be able to fill out a new form indicating whether they want to be contacted, contacted through an intermediary or not contacted at all.

But those preferences won't prevent adoptees from getting their birth records.

"We're not out to harm anybody. We're not to make anybody's lives difficult. We just want to know where we came from," Duea said.

Duea was able to track down his mother using DNA and, but only after she was 10 years into dementia.

He says learning part of his backstory was important to him and his family and he believes the new law will make it easier for other adoptees to do the same.

"I think actually just having some of that history, or at least pathway back to where I came from is great. It's gigantic," Duea said.

Minnesota will become the 15th state to have unrestricted access to birth records.