Minnesota may be a progressive state in many ways, but in it’s treatment of unmarried fathers, it is stuck in the past, if not the stone age, pretty close to it. Over a third of children are now born out of wedlock, often to parents who have been in a long term relationship. When the relationship ends the father has no rights until he goes to court, often a costly and long process. Unmarried fathers often get no time with their children until they get the order, meaning months without contact with their children, making it very difficult to establish a good parent child relationship. Even after the fathers get to court, too many judges do not seem to take their role seriously, often limiting their visit time for no reason, in some cases I have seen courts not even set up a schedule. This problem has a simple solution, re-write the laws to give unmarried fathers the same rights to their children as unmarried mothers.

Our political leaders say they support fatherhood. It is past time that they wrote laws that actually do that.