MFAR Registration Instructions and Information
Instructions to complete the Registration form:
1) Read instructions thoroughly
2) Print out Registration Form
3) Fill out form
4) You must be sure to sign the form or it will not be processed
5) Mail form to the Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry
What is a "Putative Father"?
A man who may be a child's biological father, but who:
- is not married to the child's mother on or before the date that the child was or is to be born
- has not established paternity of the child in a court proceeding.
The Fathers' Adoption Registry was created to allow putative fathers to register and thus receive notice from the court if plans to place the child for adoption are made. A man may register before the child is born, but must register within thirty days of the child's birth to ensure that his rights are protected.
Registering only allows a putative father to receive notice of a pending adoption - it does not establish him as the child's legal father. If he is notified that an adoption plan is pending, he has three options:
- he may move to establish himself as the child's legal father;
- he may deny paternity and consent to the child's adoption;
- he may do nothing, letting the time limits expire, resulting in the termination of his potential for parental rights.
Limitations of a father's rights due to failure to register apply only in adoption proceedings, and apply only to putative fathers who may not otherwise receive notice of the adoption. If there is no adoption, the information may be used to contact the father about financial support for his child.
Notification of the Birth Mother
The woman named as the child's mother on the putative father's registration will be notified in writing by the Father's Adoption Registry. This notification will consist of a letter briefly explaining the Registry and a copy of the putative father's completed registration form.
Completing the Registration Form
It is very important to complete the form as thoroughly and legibly as possible. The information provided will be used to match the father with the biological mother's and child's information when the registry is searched prior to the child's adoption proceedings.
- Print your full name and street address - the court cannot send notification to a P.O. Box.
- Include your Social Security number.
- Include other names that you are known by - especially names the child's mother may know you as.
- If you do not have a street address, you may designate an ‘agent' who does, and is willing to receive the notice for you.
- Print the full name, and include as much of the requested information as possible.
- If you are not sure of exact information, include as what you believe to be true.
- Print child's name, if known, and include as much of the requested information as possible.
- Include any and all information about the child, even if you are not exactly sure of dates and/or places.
- Without your signature, your registration cannot be processed.
- Mail or bring the completed form to the Minnesota Department of Health (address below).
It is your responsibility to update the registry with changes or additions
to your original information.
If you register before the child's birth, it is strongly recommended that you update your registration when/if information about the child becomes available. You will receive confirmation of your registration approximately two weeks after it is received by the Minnesota Department of Health. This confirmation will include a Additions & Changes form that will allow you to check for accuracy the information you have on file, and an opportunity to add or update that information. You will receive no further reminders of the need to maintain up to date information on the registry.
If you have any questions about the registration form, the registry process, or general questions or concerns, please call the registry toll free at 1-888-345-1726.
FATHERS' ADOPTION REGISTRY
Minnesota Department of Health
Office of Vital Records
P.O. Box 64499
St. Paul, Minnesota 55164-0499