Fathers' Adoption Registry - FAQ - Minnesota Dept. of Health

Fathers' Adoption Registry - FAQ

For additional information, see the Minnesota Fathers' Adoption Registry (MFAR) Frequently Asked Questions (PDF) fact sheet.

How do I establish paternity?

There are two ways for a man to establish paternity.

  1. 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.
  2. 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 you to the child’s birth record.

See Add a father to a birth record for more 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.

How do I tell MFAR that I have a new address?

You must let MFAR know if your address changes. This is so you can receive notice if the child is in the adoption process. You may use the registration confirmation form you received after you registered. Or you can use the MFAR Change of Address(PDF) form.

What do I do after receiving notice of adoption plans?

You may choose to:

  • Pursue your rights as a father,
  • Deny that you are the father and consent to the adoption, or
  • Do nothing.
To pursue your rights, you can ask the court to issue an order naming you as the child's legal father.

What can I do if I cannot afford an attorney?

If the child is in the adoption process and you cannot afford an attorney, you may qualify for legal help. Contact the court administrator’s office in the county where the child lives. You may be able to get legal counsel appointed at public expense.

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Updated Friday, 23-Apr-2021 14:48:52 CDT