Establishing Legal Paternity

Why Establish Paternity?
The Crow Wing County Child Support Agency will establish paternity and obtain financial support for children. Establishing paternity means legally determining the father of a child or legal fatherhood. If the parents of a child are married to each other, the husband is the legal father of any child conceived or born while the parents are married. If the parents of a child are not married to each other, it is important that paternity be legally established so that the child has a legal father.

Methods of Establishing Paternity
Recognition of Parentage
Parents can sign a form called Recognition of Parentage. When this form is filed with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics it legally establishes the father and child relationship. Please contact the Child Support Department for assistance completing and filing the Recognition of Parentage form.

Court Action
A court can determine the paternity of a child. A court can order genetic testing if the issue of paternity is disputed.