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Adoption Research   Tags: adoption, family history, how-to, owatonna state public school  

How to find information about people who were adopted in Minnesota
Last Updated: Feb 4, 2014 URL: Print Guide RSS Updates

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Research Options

  • Visit the MHS Library
    Original materials, records, and newspapers on microfilm are available on site and reference staff can help with research.
  • MHS Research Services
    Order copies of records, articles, or other specific materials from the MHS collections.
  • Interlibrary Loan
    MHS loans out most microfilm materials. Contact your local library for more information and assistance with this service
  • Online Research
    Some items such as newspapers, articles, photos and objects are available online. Look for links within this guide.
  • Other Libraries
    Some sources in this guide may be available from other libraries.

Related Research Guides & Webpages



Finding information about adoptions can be one of the more challenging research tasks due to limited information and Minnesota Laws concerning adoption.  If the adoption occurred 100 years ago or earlier, the information is public; if the adoption occurred less than 100 years ago the records may be restricted.

Adoption resources housed in the Minnesota Historical Society collections include court records, orphanage records, birth records, and books and articles about adoption in Minnesota. 

Court Records

You may be able to find birth records and civil case files in the records of the court where the adoption occurred.

Orphanage Records

You may also be able to find adoption records pertaining to specific institutions where mothers or adopted children stayed. 

Birth Records

You may be able to find birth records in the Minnesota Birth Certificates Index


MHS Reference Staff

reading room bookshelves

Gale Family Library
MN Historical Society Library
345 West Kellogg Blvd.
St. Paul, MN 55102

Contact Us:
By Phone (651-259-3300)
By Email

Library Hours
Tuesday: 9am to 8pm
Wed. to Sat.: 9am to 4pm
Sunday: Closed
Monday: Closed
Holiday Hours


Guide Author

Tracey Baker
Head of Reference

Katie Jean Davey 
Reference Associate

Minnesota Historical Society Library • 345 W. Kellogg Blvd., St. Paul, MN 55102-1906 • 651-259-3300

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