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Recognition of parentage

The Minnesota Voluntary Recognition of Parentage (PDF) is a document that establishes a legal relationship between a man and a child when the man is not married to the child's mother. Signing a Recognition of Parentage is an easy and inexpensive alternative to getting a court order establishing the legal father.

Both parents must sign this form to make the man the child's legal father. The completed form must be filed with the Office of Vital Records at the Minnesota Department of Health or it is not valid. The Office of Vital Records will then put the biological father's name on the child's birth record.

For more information, please view the Power of Two video before signing the Recognition of Parentage form.

Advantages of signing the Recognition of Parentage

For fathers, signing the Recognition of Parentage:

  • Gives you the right to ask the court for parenting time (visitation) and custody
  • Allows you to put your child on your medical and dental insurance to cover the child's health care needs
  • Gives you the right to be notified of any adoption proceedings
  • Makes you the legal father and allows your name to be on your child's birth record.

For mothers, signing the Recognition of Parentage:

  • Gives your child a legal father
  • Gives you the right to ask for financial support for your child, including basic support, medical and dental support and child care support from the legal father
  • Gives you the right to obtain medical information about the legal father.

Disadvantages of signing the Recognition of Parentage

The Recognition of Parentage establishes a legal relationship between the child and the father, but it does not give a father custody or parenting time (visitation).

By signing the Recognition of Parentage instead of going to court to establish parentage, both parents give up their rights to:

  • Have blood or genetic testing to prove whether the man is the child's biological father before establishing parentage
  • Have an attorney represent you
  • Have a trial to determine whether the man is the biological father of the child.

Undoing a Recognition of Parentage

Parents can undo a Recognition of Parentage or a Spouse's Non-parentage Statement by revoking it within 60 days of signing the form.


To revoke a Recognition of Parentage or Spouse's Non-parentage Statement within the first 60 days, you can:

After 60 days, you cannot revoke the Recognition of Parentage or the Spouse's Non-parentage Statement. You will have to file a legal action asking the court to undo either or both of them. You have one year after the Recognition of Parentage was signed and filed to ask the court to undo it and the Spouse's Non-parentage Statement. However, if you get blood or genetic tests that show that the man who signed the Recognition of Parentage is not the father of the child, you have six months after you get this information to ask the court to undo the Recognition of Parentage and the Spouse's Non-parentage Statement.

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