Children playing on slideHow do I start the adoption process?

If you are thinking about adoption or just beginning the process, you should contact the ND Department of Health and Human Services.  You can find valuable information about adoption on their Adoption Program website.

How do I update a birth record after I adopt someone?

In North Dakota, this process begins with the adoptive parents, their attorney, or an adoption agency completing the parent portion of SFN 6739 - Report of Adoption form. This form should be filed with the County Clerk of District Court along with the decree of adoption.

The Clerk of District Court then needs to complete the child portion of this form, so that the original birth record can be located, by our office, from information contained in evidence received and documents supplied with the petition. Such information shall not be disclosed to the adoptive parents unless specifically authorized by the court having jurisdiction.

The Clerk of District Court shall certify the last section of the form as to the child's full name, date and place of adoption as decreed in the court order and whether or not this is an interlocutory decree. The Clerk of District Court shall sign and date the form and affix the court's seal.

If this form is being completed for a child born outside of North Dakota, Vital Records will forward the form to the appropriate vital records office in the state of birth. Our office does not charge a fee to forward the form to the appropriate vital records office; however, we suggest the attorney, agency or adoptive parents handling the adoption contact the vital records office in the state of the birth regarding their fees and requirements to file the new birth record.

What do I need to send to your office?

  1. Mail Original completed Report of Adoption to:  ND Department of Health and Human Services, Vital Records, 600 E. Boulevard Ave., Dept. 325, Bismarck, ND 58505-0250
  2. Submit the $15 filing fee to file a new birth record following adoption. If the fee is not submitted, the record will not be updated by our office.
  3. If you would like a certified copy of the new adoptive birth record, submit a Request for a Certified Copy of a Birth Record (SFN 8140), along with an additional $15 for each certified copy requested.  If this request is not submitted by the adoptive parents, then we will not issue a new certified copy.

Can anyone request the original birth record after an adoption?

After the adoption process is completed on a birth record by our office, the original birth record and any other information associated with that record are sealed from public view. After a record is sealed, the only way to open that record again is by a court order.  

If you have a question pertaining to an original sealed birth record, you can email us at