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Settling parental rights issues for child born out of wedlock

A child may be born to an unwed couple in Minnesota, or anywhere else in the United States. Under such circumstances, protecting the rights of those children often becomes very important because that child may face a number of issues while growing up. So, how do the parents declare parental rights in that case?

When a child is born to a woman out of wedlock and the man believes that he is the child's father, the man needs to establish his parental rights by signing a Recognition of Parentage form. It can also be done by court order. However, before the man signs the form, he needs to register with the Minnesota Father's Adoption Registry within a month of the birth of the child. The moment the child is put up for adoption, the child's father will be notified.

Very often, unmarried parents agree on a child custody agreement, child support plan and visitation schedule without going to court. However, the parents may have to approach the court if they cannot settle issues such as the child's schooling and medical treatment. The parents may need assistance from the court if there are disputes, such as which school the child will attend or the medical treatment that the child needs.

If the custodial parent needs financial support, the parents may have to settle the custody and support issues in court. If the parent needs more parenting time and that parent's visitation rights are at stake, the parents may again approach the court and get the issue settled in court. Also, if the parent feels that the child is not safe with the other parent, that parent may approach the court.

Source: Minnesota Judicial Branch, "Father's Adoption Registry, Accessed on Aug.1, 2015

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