Delegation of Parental Authority - Do it Yourself

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Step 1 Step 2 Step 3 Step 4 Click "Get Started" above to get to the guided interview. If you only want the form by itself, click "PDF" below.

Step 1

About this Program

Welcome! This free program helps you create a Delegation of Parental Authority (DOPA) form for Minnesota.

The program works by asking you questions. It uses your answers to fill out your form. You can print your form, make copies, and get it notarized.

It could take 20 minutes to get through the interview. If you don't have enough time to finish, save your answers by creating an account with LawHelp Interactive. You can create an account now or any time during the interview.

Before you start the interview, you need to read the instructions on the next 3 tabs. 

To continue, click on the green Step 2 tab above.

Step 2

What is a Delegation of Parental Authority (DOPA)?

A Delegation of Parental Authority (DOPA) is a document that lets someone take care of your children when you can't. DOPAs are good when you are going out of the state or county for any reason. It can be part of vacation planning or if you are facing deportation or jail.

Read the Delegation of Parental Authority (DOPA) Fact Sheet to learn more about DOPAs.

What Information Do You Need?

You will need certain information to finish the interview. This includes:

  • The name and home county of the person who will care for your child
  • The county where you will get your form notarized
  • Any expiration date (less than one year) you want to set for your DOPA form

Will Your Child Live in Another State?

If the person who is going to take care of your child lives in another state, find out if that state has a form like Minnesota's DOPA (most do) and fill that out, too. Start looking for other states' forms at

Does Your Child Have Another Living Parent?

If your child has another living parent (biological or through adoption), you have to tell that person about the DOPA. You only have 30 days from the day you get the DOPA notarized to tell them.

You DO NOT have to tell the other parent about the DOPA if:

  • he or she has no visitation rights,
  • he or she has supervised visitation rights, OR
  • you have (or your child has) an Order for Protection in place against him or her

If the other parent does not fit into any of those categories, you have to tell him or her about the DOPA. You can change your mind and cancel a DOPA at any time. Talk to a lawyer before you use this form if:

  • The other parent wants custody of your child, or
  • Your child will be living in another state, or
  • The other parnet is spending time with your child, and the new home will make that more difficult, or
  • You have any questions about whether a DOPA is best for you and your child.

Find a legal aid attorney for people with low incomes, or contact a private attorney.

To continue, click on the green Step 3 tab above.

Step 3

What Does Your Computer Need?
This interview works best with Chrome or Firefox internet browsers.
You will also need Microsoft Word or Word Viewer. If you don't have Microsoft Word, you can use Word Viewer to view, copy, and print your forms (but it won't let you make changes.) Click here to get Word Viewer for free. (Note: Microsoft Word Pad is not the same as Microsoft Word and will not work with this program.)

To continue, click on the green Step 4 tab above.

Step 4


Click "Get Started" above to get to the guided interview. If you only want the form by itself, click "PDF" below.


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