Paternity proceedings can be messy, especially if you are lacking information about the child or the birth of the child.
The Putative Father Registry is a method for a Father to legally claim his rights to paternity. It is a useful tool for a person who believes he is the father of a child, but the mother is denying he is the father or is refusing to provide him with any information regarding whether he is the father. It is particularly important for a person who believes he is the father to get on the registry in cases where the mother may give the child up for adoption because she will be able to do that without the father’s consent if he does not establish paternity.
In order to be added to the Putative Father Registry, a person:
- Must be the father or “claim” to be the father;
- Must file a Notice of Claim of Paternity and show his willingness and intent to support the child to the best of his ability;
- May file the Notice of Claim of Paternity before the child’s birth, but MUST file it within 30 days after the child’s birth;
- Must provide relevant information, such as full name, address, and last known information pertaining to the mother.
Once the Father is added to the Putative Father Registry, he will be notified of his rights and will receive notice of any adoption proceedings pertaining to the child.
Because of the sensitive information involved, the registry is confidential. Therefore, the information is only accessible to a few, for example the Court, a licensed adoption agency or licensed attorney participating in direct placement of an adoption.
In the event that there is not significant information found in the registry, a certificate signed by the state registrar will be provided as proof of a diligent search of the registry.
If significant information is found, the father will be served and he then has thirty days to file a paternity action. Failure to do so bars the father from bringing any further action to assert any interest in the child.
If the mother denies the father’s claim of paternity, the claimant will be required to establish paternity through the Court with a paternity test.
If a father fails to file a Notice of Claim of Paternity, he waives his rights to be notified of any judicial hearings regarding the child’s adoption and his consent will not be required.
All men should know that the lack of knowledge of the pregnancy is not an acceptable reason for failure to file with the Registry. The fact that the putative father had sexual intercourse with the mother is deemed to be notice.
If you find yourself in need of establishing paternity and you would like to work with one of our experienced Attorneys, please call OWENS & PERKINS at 480.630.2464 to schedule your free 30 minute consultation.