If you were adopted and recently turned 18, congratulations! This is a big moment in your life. It opens up opportunities for both new freedom and responsibility. As you are exploring new possibilities, your thoughts may turn to adoption. Adoptees who are newly 18 often wonder, “What now? Can I get more information about my adoption? Can I meet my birth parents? What are my options now that I am an adult?” The short answer to all of these questions is, nothing changes…yet.
Minnesota Adoption Law
Minnesota adoption law states that an adopted individual must be at least 19 years old in order to access post adoption services such as non-identifying information from the file, searching for birth parents, or requesting an Original Birth Record. Anyone interested in services before they are 19 can still access some information with their parents’ help. Adoptive parents may request services on their child’s behalf and be involved throughout the process.
At 18, you likely had hoped that this meant having access to more information about your adoption. We know needing to wait another year must be disappointing, but don’t lose hope yet! You can take this time to prepare yourself. Whether you are interested in non-identifying information from your file, requesting your Original Birth Record, or searching for your birth parents, it is important to be prepared for the many emotions that may come up along the way. People often say they wish they had taken more time to be more prepared.
Now is a great time to hear from others who have gone through these experiences, talk with your family and friends about your hopes and fears, and think through how you may react to the information you receive. Each of these options will help you manage your expectations for what may happen when you pursue post adoption services, which in turn will help you be prepared for a variety of outcomes. Whether you like to read, listen, or talk, we have included some resources below to get you started.
- It’s Not About You: Understanding Adoptee Search, Reunion & Open Adoption edited by Brooke Randolph. This book includes a collection of personal stories of search, reunion, and open adoption written by adopted adults, birth parents, adoptive parents, and adoption professionals. If you are interested in searching for your birth parents, this resource may be helpful on your journey.
- Dimples & Adoption Podcast – Episode 18: Reality vs Expectations In this podcast a birth mother and her biological daughter share their unique story of adoption. This episode shares about some of the realities vs expectations they have experienced in their relationship and how to navigate an open adoption.
- Find an Adoption Competent Therapist – MN ADOPT offers an extensive list of adoption competent therapists who can help you talk through anything related to your adoption. This can help prepare you for the variety of outcomes when pursuing post adoption services.
- Join a support group – Talking with others who are at a similar stage to you can be really beneficial. MN ADOPT offers information for a variety of support groups for adopted adults.
- Get your questions answered – Check out our Post Adoption FAQs page to get the answers to common questions we hear about post adoption services.
Update Your Information
Once you are 19, New Life Adoptions can only talk to you about your adoption due to confidentiality. The best way to help us fulfill this is to keep your contact information updated with us. We know you may move several times over the coming years, so keeping your contact information current with us can help us contact you directly whenever needed.
No matter what your age, you can contact us to learn more about our Post Adoption Services. We can help answer your questions and direct you to other resources that may be helpful on your unique journey.