The father of a child has a legal responsibility to provide for the financial support, medical care, and other needs of his child. In Minnesota, that responsibility includes child support payments to the child’s mother or legal guardian. Children have rights of inheritance from their father and may be eligible through him for benefits such as life insurance, Social Security, pension, veterans, or disability benefits. Additionally, children benefit from knowing their father’s medical history and any potential health problems that can be passed genetically.

Paternity can be established in Minnesota by:

  • Recognition of Parentage: the biological parents state under oath that they are the parents of the child. This statement will assure benefits to the child. It also will establish the father’s parental rights.
  • Adjudication: legal action can be brought in court to determine the biological and legal father of a minor child. This process, in addition to obtaining all of the benefits of a Recognition of Parentage, establishes child support orders, custody, and visitation rights. An adjudication also establishes paternity when paternity is contested. It provides legal safeguards to all parties involved.

Issues of paternity affect the legal rights of both parents and the child. You can get general information about paternity establishment, federal regulations and state statutes about child support, and related issues 24 hours a day, seven days a week by calling:

651-431-4199 (General Information Line)

Or you can write to:

Minnesota Department of Human Services Child Support Enforcement Division
P.O. Box 64946
St. Paul, MN 55164-0946