My girlfriend is pregnant with someone else's kid, he has agreed not to sign the birth certificate or seek visitation. She then asked if I wanted to sign the birth certificate. Can I legally sign the birth certificate knowing I'm not the father? And if I can't how can I become the child's legal father? Also it was a verbal agreement between us two, can he go back on his word and still seek custody even after he didn't sign the birth certificate?
Hello. Just so you know, the word 'verbal' can refer to oral communication but it can refer to written communication, too. With no question in my mind, I urge you to carefully choose an att'y at this time and have her give you legal advice -the dad of this as yet unborn baby ought to do so as well. Know that if you reside in a somewhat remote area of MN, a few of us att'ys routinely make special arrgmts' to provide legal help to such folks.
As to laws generally: If the parents are married or were married within 280 days of the birth, there is a presumption of paternity according to Minnesota Statutes, section 257.55 and the husband is added as the birth father on the birth record.
If the parents are not married and there is no presumption of paternity according to Minnesota Statutes, section 257.55, Minnesota Statutes, section 144.215, subdivision 3, and Minnesota Rules, part 4601.0600, subpart 5, require a court order, recognition of parentage or declaration of parentage to add the birth father's information to the birth record. This process establishes the last name of the child.
According to Minnesota Statutes, section 257.75, if the mother is married but not to the birth father, the husband may complete a Husband's Non-Paternity Statement and the birth father and mother may complete a Recognition of Parentage.
MINNEAPOLIS/ST. PAUL - ST CLOUD. This law firm may accept avvo posters as clients but this post is not legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. This post is to be considered general information which may or may not apply to your personal situation. Please do seek private attorney counsel as to your personal legal issues and needs.
It is a bad idea to sign anything stating you are the biological father when you know you are not. It could have legal consequences for you (if you sign and you later break up with your girlfriend, do you want to pay child support?) Yes, the bio father could seek custody even if he doesn't sign the birth certificate. There are some limitations on when people can seek custody, but not signing a birth certificate does not prevent someone from seeking custody.
I strongly advise you and your girlfriend consult separate attorneys. If you would like to become the legal father, you can do what's referred to as a stepparent adoption. There are several steps to go through, but if bio dad is truly not interested in being the father, this should be doable. But talk to an attorney for more information about your specific situation.
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