Historically, Minnesota mothers had the role of primary caregivers for children. One of the major byproducts of the gender movement in the 1970’s was the rise of fathers’ rights advocates in the state. Many times, unwed mothers gave up their biological children for adoption. The fathers usually had no say in such matters where the child was born out of wedlock.
With the fathers’ rights movements gaining momentum, Minnesota law has prescribed a father’s adoption registry. Under the new policy, state health department staff must first conduct a search for a biological father before giving up the child for adoption. This policy not only recognizes the paternity rights of fathers in their child’s life, but also protects the adopting family from future custody disputes.
In order to benefit from the registry, putative fathers are encouraged to register themselves when they come to know of the birth of the child. The biological father should take advantage of the policy by registering as soon as possible. If the biological father registers himself after 30 days from the birth of his child, he may lose the rights given under the policy.
During the adoption of the child or an incident where the biological mother may have rescinded custody of the minor child through an agency or person, the registry may be searched to ensure that the biological father does not claim any paternity rights. If the father wishes to establish his parental rights, then he may do so when agency contacts him. It may be wise to both unmarried biological fathers, as well as expectant fathers, to contact a lawyer to understand their rights to their biological children.
Source: Minnesota Department of Health, “Minnesota father’s adoption registry frequently asked questions”, accessed Jan. 2, 2015