Unwed fathers of minor children born in the State of Minnesota are often left wondering whether they have any rights to custody or parenting time with their minor child. To understand what rights a father has when his child is born out of wedlock, it is important to know how that parent and child relationship is established under the law.
Father’s Rights: What you can do
First, it is imperative that a man who suspect that he may be a father, establish his right to be given notice of any court proceeding that may involve his child, even though he may not be certain that the child is his. This prevents the child from being adopted, or from having another man establish custody rights by either becoming married to the mother, or, through holding out the child as his own, and, establish de facto paternity rights.
The way for a father to assert his right to notice, and therefore to assert paternity rights, is to register with the Minnesota Father’s Adoption Registry. The Adoption Registry is administered by the Minnesota Department of Health, and, is very simple and efficient way for a father to provide his name and contact information, to the State, so that in case a court proceeding to adopt, or to establish paternity or custody rights to a minor child, is ever filed in the State of Minnesota, the biological father is provided notice, and an opportunity to be heard.
There is a thirty day time limit, from the date of the child’s birth, for a father to place his name on the Adoption Registry, lest that father lose the opportunity to be heard in the event that that an adoption or paternity proceeding is commenced shortly after a child is born. Since a father can place his name on the Adoption Registry prior to the child’s birth (since the father is only required to list his name, and the name of the child’s mother) it is therefore extremely important that a father place his name on the Registry, if he suspects that he is a father, and that his child’s mother does not wish for him to have rights to the child.
By contacting an attorney who is familiar with father’s rights, or, by contacting the Minnesota Department of Health, it need not take a great deal of time or effort to ensure a father’s rights to pursue paternity or custody of his child are protected.
I have considerable experience fighting for the rights of the father in Minnesota family courts. Please, take that first step and come by for a free consultation today. You can schedule by phone at 651-647-0087 or via our online contact form.
I look forward to hearing from you.