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Heidbreder v. Carton
Minnesota Supreme Court
645 N.W.2d 355 (2002)
Dale Heidbreder (plaintiff) conceived a child, K.M.C., with Katie Carton (defendant) but did not provide any pregnancy-related financial support. Heidbreder and Carton agreed not to pursue adoption. Before the birth, Heidbreder and Carton broke up and Carton moved to Minnesota without informing Heidbreder. Heidbreder did not file a paternity petition or register his putative paternity with any state’s paternity registry. Carton selected M.J.P. and M.B.P. (defendants) as adoptive parents. K.M.C. was born on August 12, 2000, and Heidbreder was not listed on the birth certificate or informed of the birth. The adoptive parents filed an adoption petition and took K.M.C. home from the hospital. Thirty-one days after K.M.C.’s birth, Heidbreder learned about it from a third party and contacted Carton, who told him about the adoption. That same day, Heidbreder registered with the Minnesota Fathers’ Adoption Registry (the Adoption Registry) and filed a paternity petition. The adoptive parents moved to dismiss the paternity action because Heidbreder had not filed within the statutory 30-day deadline following K.M.C.’s birth. The district court granted summary judgment to the adoptive parents. The court of appeals affirmed. Heidbreder appealed, challenging the application of the deadline because he was only one day late, Carton had not informed him about the birth, and she had agreed not to pursue adoption. Heidbreder also raised violations of due process and equal protection.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Anderson, J.)
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