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When a mother is married to someone other than the biological father

When a married couple has a child, Minnesota law automatically recognizes the mother's spouse as the child's legal parent. If the mother is married to someone other than her child's biological father, you can establish parentage, which makes the biological father the legal father of the child. Any of the parties involved can initiate this process.

Sign and file voluntary forms

Two forms are required to establish parentage for the biological father without having to go to court.

The completed forms must be filed with the Office of Vital Records at the Minnesota Department of Health or they are not valid. The Office of Vital Records will then put the biological father's name on the child's birth record.

Petition the court if necessary

You will need to ask a court to determine the legal father of the child in the following cases:

  • The mother, her spouse or the biological father do not agree to sign the required forms within one year of the child's birth.
  • It has been more than one year since the child was born.
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