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Recognition of Parentage ("ROP") Process
Recognition of Parentage ("ROP") Form
The Recognition of Parentage ("ROP") Form is an official state form with a fairly easy and inexpensive process that can be used to establish the legal relationship between a father and his child when a child's father and mother are not married. You can download the Recognition of Parentage Form and Instructions, which is made available by the MN Dept. of Human Services. Or, you can get a copy at your local County Child Support office. Hospitals may also provide the form to the parents at the child's birth. NOTE: If you have any doubt about the identity of the biological father, do not sign the ROP form.
The Recognition of Parentage form must be signed by the mother and father in front of a Notary and it must be filed with the MN Dept. of Health. To learn more, read the MN "ROP" law MN Statute 257.75.
NOTE: When a child is born, if the mother was married to a man who is not the biological father, the ROP form alone is not enough to establish the biological father as the "legal" father. The mother's husband must also sign a separate form called the Husband's Non-Paternity Statement within one year after the child is born.
Properly completing the ROP process, including the Husband's Non-Paternity Statement where applicable, establishes a "legal" relationship between the father and child.
Need copies of a ROP that was filed? The MN Dept. of Health website (scroll down the page) has a form you can download, fill out and send them along with a fee to get a certified copy of a previoulsy filed ROP.
Get Legal Advice
Before signing a Recognition of Parentage form or Husband's Non-Paternity Statement, you should understand what it means to be a "legal" father and what rights and duties you might receive or be giving up by signing the forms. Establishing paternity is important for purposes of inheritance, adoption, benefits, parenting time, financial support, health care, school issues, and other reasons. We strongly encourage you to discuss any questions you have with a lawyer. See Find a Lawyer.
For more detailed information on the process involving a Recognition of Paternity form, click the following links to see helpful information booklets:
How to Revoke a "Recognition of Parentage" Form
It is possible to revoke the ROP within 60 days after both parents sign the form. To revoke the ROP, the mother or father must sign a written revocation in front of a notary and file it with the State. See the law at MN Statute § 257.75 subd.2. The ROP can also be set aside by court order in limited circumstances. There are strict time limits to do this, so if you want to ask for a court order to revoke a ROP, get legal help right away. The court website does not have the forms to revoke a ROP or to ask for a court order revoking a ROP. You can get forms to handle a paternity case from your attorney, a legal publisher, or you could check with your local court administrator to find out if they distribute forms at the courthouse. You could also visit your local law library.
"Recognition of Parentage" Form Does NOT Grant Custody
The Recognition of Parentage form does not give any custody or parenting time to the father. The mother still has sole custody under Minnesota law. A parent or the county attorney must start a court action to request an order for custody, parenting time, or child support. You can learn about Child Custody & Parenting Time or Child Support on this website.
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