In Minnesota, it is important to establish the legal relationship between a father and his child if the father is not married to the child's mother. The official state document that establishes this relationship is known as "Recognition of Parentage."
When parents sign a Recognition of Parentage document, it means that they agree that the man identified is the legal father of the child. Signing a legal recognition is not only easy, but is also an inexpensive alternative to establishing paternity by obtaining a court order. If either or both parents question the paternity of a child, they can request the court to order genetic testing in order to discover and formally establish the legal father of the child.
A mother who signs the recognition of parentage form helps provide the child with the love and support of both parents. This document gives a child a legal father and provides the right for a mother to ask for financial support and child support in the event of separation. It also gives the mother access to medical information about the child's biological father, if needed.
A father who signs this form shows commitment and responsibility for the child and it allows the father to be an important part of all the parenting decisions that will affect that child's life. Also, it gives a father the right to ask the court for child custody and child visitation in the event of separation. A father can also provide medical insurance coverage for his child to address the child's healthcare needs.
Signing the Recognition of Parentage form saves time and money for both parents. Any mother or potential father having doubts regarding signing this important document or a parent who is feeling pressured to sign may seek counsel from an attorney experienced in these matters.
Source: State.MN.us, "What is the recognition of parentage," Nov. 2014