Fathers' Adoption Registry Frequently Asked Questions
How do I establish paternity?
There are two ways for a man to establish paternity.
- You may establish paternity by signing a Voluntary Recognition of Parentage (ROP) form. The mother must also sign the form. The Minnesota Department of Health (MDH) must receive the form to add you to the birth record.
- You may start a paternity case in the local District Court where the child lives. If the court decides that you are the father, the court will issue a paternity order. The Minnesota Department of Health must receive the paternity court order to add the you to the child’s birth record.
See Adding a father to a birth record for additional information.
What if I do not register with MFAR or I register 31 or more days after the child is born?
- You may not learn about an adoption that is in process.
- The adoption may go on without your agreement.
- The court may rule that you have given up any rights you have as a father in the adoption process.
- The court could rule that you abandoned the child.
If you register 31 or more days after the child’s birth, the court will determine if your registration is valid.
What do I do after receiving notice of adoption plans?
You may choose:
- To pursue your rights as a father,
- To deny that you are the father and consent to the adoption, or
- To do nothing.
If you want to pursue your rights as a father, you need to file a paternity action in court to establish that you are the child's legal father.
What can I do if I cannot afford an attorney?
If you cannot afford an attorney, and have received notice of a pending adoption, you may seek legal counsel by contacting the court administrator’s office in the county where the child lives. You may qualify for legal counsel appointed at public expense.