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Important Announcement: Understanding Recognition of Parentage

Sept. 27, 2023

Attention all parents! We want to shed light on an important legal matter that affects unmarried couples when a child is born. It's called the Recognition of Parentage (ROP).

When a child is born out of wedlock, parents have the option to sign an ROP, which legally establishes paternity under Minnesota Statutes. However, it's crucial to understand the implications and take necessary steps to protect your rights.

Firstly, congratulations to all the new fathers out there! But remember, until custody or parenting time is determined by a court, the mother is considered the default custodial parent. Fathers have no enforceable rights unless granted by a court.

In situations where there is no court order, everything may go smoothly as long as both parents get along. However, if conflicts arise, the mother holds all the legal rights. She can even relocate out of state or country without seeking consent from the father or court permission.

But what if you signed an ROP and later discover you're not the biological father? Don't panic! You still have options, but time is of the essence. According to Minnesota law, to challenge the ROP, you must take action within one year of signing or within six months of obtaining blood or genetic test results proving you're not the father. The burden of proof lies with the party seeking to vacate the ROP, and it must be based on fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact.

It's crucial to fully understand what you're signing and protect your rights as a parent. Don't hesitate to seek legal advice if needed. Knowledge is power!