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    GV70's Avatar
    GV70 Posts: 2,918, Reputation: 283
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    #1

    Apr 22, 2009, 08:18 AM
    Putative Father Registry
    Putative Father Registry


    The U.S. Supreme Court has affirmed putative father's constitutional protection of parental rights when the father has established a substantial relationship with his child. A substantial relationship has been defined as a biological link between the child and putative father, when the father is committed to the responsibilities of parenthood and willing to participate in the child's raising.
    The Court has not ruled about what putative father's need to do in order to protect their parental rights. Therefore each State has been left to determine how to protect a putative father's rights. There has been some progress in defining the rights of a father with the implementation of Putative Father Registries.
    To ensure notice to putative fathers, some states have enacted putative father registries. The registries let adoption petitioners find putative fathers without having to rely on the mothers naming them. Essentially, putative fathers ensure their own notice by signing the registry.





    Usually a father is supposed to be notified before his child can be adopted. But a father who isn’t married to the child’s mother may not be easy to find, or might not be legally recognized as the child’s father. The Putative Father Registry is a way for such fathers to make sure that they can protect their rights.

    A “putative father” is a man who may be a child’s father, but who was not married to the child’s mother before the child is born and has not established the fact that he is the father in a legal proceeding. If the child’s mother wants to place the child for adoption, the putative father must take steps to show that he is the legal father of the child if he wants to have any say in the adoption.

    A man who thinks he is the father of a child, and who wants to have a say in whether the child is adopted, should register with the Putative Father Registry. In fact, he should register even if he signed the child’s birth certificate (and even if he is under 18 years old).

    After a father registers with the Putative Father Registry, the court will make sure he is notified if the child should be the subject of a pending adoption. When the father receives the “notice of pending adoption,” he can then appear before the court in the adoption to provide information about the child’s best interests.

    You may register with the Putative Father Registry before or after the birth of the child. But in order to receive notice of pending adoption, you must first register no later then 30 days after the birth of the child.
    But registering with Putative Father Registry is only one step in protecting a father’s rights. Fathers who register with the Putative Father Registry must also begin legal proceedings to establish paternity within 30 days of registering.

    What happens if a man does not register with the Putative Father Registry?
    If a man does not register with the Putative Father Registry before the child's birth or no later than 30 days after the child's birth, the child could be permanently adopted without the putative father's knowledge or consent.

    If you do not register with the Putative Father Registry within 30 days of child’s birth, or if you do register but do not start legal proceedings to establish paternity within 30 days after that, the following may happen:
    The court may rule that you have waived your rights, and permanently terminate your parental rights without notice; and
    • Your child may be permanently adopted without your consent.


    Ignorance of the pregnancy is no excuse for not signing the registry. The sexual act itself lets the adoption proceed without the putative father's consent if he has not signed the registry .
    ScottGem's Avatar
    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #2

    Apr 22, 2009, 08:32 AM

    This is great info and will probably help many of our members who were not aware of this.
    Synnen's Avatar
    Synnen Posts: 7,927, Reputation: 2443
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    #3

    Apr 22, 2009, 08:57 AM

    So basically, men need to register with EVERY GIRL THEY HAVE SEX with, regardless whether they know of a pregnancy?

    "So...had a great time last night, I'm off to sign my putative father registry just in case you got pregnant last night. Give me a call sometime!"
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    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #4

    Apr 22, 2009, 09:05 AM

    Well if they want to have a say in rearing the child then they should. But from a practical matter I think the instance of one night stands that result in pregnancies where the father is not informed are probably a small minority.

    In most cases, the potential father will know about the pregnancy and have a chance to register.
    GV70's Avatar
    GV70 Posts: 2,918, Reputation: 283
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    #5

    Apr 22, 2009, 09:07 AM

    Having rights is not same as exercising rights. Anyone must know his rights but he must know about his obligations,too.
    Personally I welcome these registries.They can help the rights of both fathers and children to be protected. The registries let adoption petitioners find putative fathers without having to rely on the mothers naming them.
    But registries are the way for adoption, too. No one will adopt a child if he/she is not sure that the adoption is final and it is possible the child to be removed from his/her care years later.
    Synnen's Avatar
    Synnen Posts: 7,927, Reputation: 2443
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    #6

    Apr 22, 2009, 09:15 AM

    Oh really?

    I've known quite a few adoption agencies and adoptive parents that were MORE than willing to take the word of the mother that she did not KNOW who the father was.

    Maybe that's getting better, but the sad case is that even if the father CAN prove that he never knew about the pregnancy or child, the courts will rule in favor of the adoptive parents most of the time--because it is in the best interest of the child.
    GV70's Avatar
    GV70 Posts: 2,918, Reputation: 283
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    #7

    Apr 22, 2009, 09:45 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Synnen View Post
    Oh really?

    I've known quite a few adoption agencies and adoptive parents that were MORE than willing to take the word of the mother that she did not KNOW who the father was.

    Maybe that's getting better, but the sad case is that even if the father CAN prove that he never knew about the pregnancy or child, the courts will rule in favor of the adoptive parents most of the time--because it is in the best interest of the child.
    Excuse me but I cannot understand... it is sad that the child has a stable home and environment?:mad:
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    ScottGem Posts: 64,970, Reputation: 6056
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    #8

    Apr 22, 2009, 11:22 AM

    Ok, guys, the fact is that Putative Father Registries are becoming more the norm at least in the US. While they are not a perfect solution, I think they are better then not having them at all. So lets not fight here over them. If you think they are wrong, then talk to your elected representatives.

    But as long as they are the law in many states, then lets make father's aware of them so they can deal with them as they wish.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #9

    May 18, 2009, 09:51 AM

    As an adoptive parent, and having worked in adoption, I can say there's no easy way to handle father's rights. If the father doesn't come forward and is not on the registry, and the birth mother does not disclose who he is, there's not a lot to be done by the agency or adoptive parents. If women are forced to name someone, children resulting from rape and nameless one-night-stands, or children resulting from incestuous relationships, relationships between young girls and older men and so on, will not be able to be placed for adoption. FEw women will give up even men they've broken up with to charges of statutory rape, or will ever tell anyone that their father raped them and got them pregnant, but these things happen a lot, and adoption can be the best chance these women have to spare the baby terrible family circumstances.

    There's a need to also protect the rights of adoptive parents. We take in these kids who need a home, and we typically pay all the expenses not only for the child, but also many expenses for the birth parent. I had no birth parent expenses related to my child because he was a ward of the state when I found him, but my friends who adopted paid everything from car payments and rent and electric bills, to grocieries, maternity clothes, attorney bills, plane tickets for their support people to fly in to be with them, years of counseling and psychological care, treatment for alcoholism and drug abuse and far more. Still either firth parent can reassert their rights within the first days and weeks of the placement, and take the baby back without any expectation of repaying the adoptive parents a dime. This just devastates the adoptive parents. Not only do they lose a child they've come to feel is their baby, they are also out tens of thousands of dollars, which often ends their dream of adopting - they can't afford to do it again. Personally, I feel that there should be an expectation that the birth parents pay the adoptive parents back for their expenses if they take the baby back... if they know that is the arrangement from the beginning, they might think twice about racking up crazy expenses. And they have control over a lot of it. I've known of plenty of young women who could have lived free with their parents, for example, but got an apartment because the adoptive parents could be made to pay for it during the pregnancy and for a month after the baby was born. Perhaps there should be a public fund for helping these women so the adoptive parents are not taken to the cleaners, and can then move forward with a different birth mother.

    The alternative for adoptive parents is to go outside of the country to adopt, and many do to avoid just this type of financial nightmare and because they know, once they have that baby on American soil, the adoption is done for good, nobody's coming for that child.

    So the putative father's registry is a great thing if those men who want to care for their children sign it. It prevents adoption of their children without their consent but also puts a deadline on their opportunity to come forward. They are proactively informed a child was born that might be there's, and they get a period to assert their rights. If they do nothing, the adoption moves forward, they are free from any responsibility, and the child and adoptive parents are able to begin a secure family situation.

    I think it should go a step further - if birth fathers block the adoption, they should take full care and custody of the child if the birth mother cannot do so and should not be able to block the adoption, and then be a deadbeat - not paying support, not being involved.

    What's sad all around is that there are birth mothers who intentionally take adoptive parents for all they are worth with no intention of giving up their children (some work through multiple agencies and get four or five couples thinking they are getting the baby, and all of those couples give them money - of course, this is fraud and they end up without the baby, without the money and in jail... they never get away with it because agencies compare notes to catch these situations). There are birth father's who block adoptions not to care for their children but to control women who they abuse and to act in charge. There are adoptive parents who can be a bit manipulative and guilt women out of their children. And there are agencies who pray on everyone involoved.

    But fortunately, these people are the very rare exceptions - most involved in adoption just love the kids and want what's best for everyone.
    Synnen's Avatar
    Synnen Posts: 7,927, Reputation: 2443
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    #10

    May 18, 2009, 10:41 AM

    First--as a birthmother--the ONLY expenses that a birthmother doesn't have to pay back if she changes her mind are the legal expenses. At least, that's the way it was in WI 17 years. Ago. I haven't looked into it since then, but there ARE laws to prevent adoptive parents from being completely taken advantage of.

    The OTHER side of the story is that there are adoptive parents that promise the moon and stars to a birthparent to get their hands on her child, then disappear the second the paperwork is signed---and there is absolutely NOTHING the birthmother can do about it, because selling your child is illegal. You can't sue for visitation. You can't sue for further counseling. You can't sue for mental and emotional trauma resulting from promises not beign kept (of course, adoptive parents can't either, but I think the situations are a little different).

    For every guy out there that blocks the adoption simply to control his girlfriend/ex-girlfriend, there is a girl out there who doesn't inform her boyfriend/ex-boyfriend of the pregnancy so that he can't have any say in the child's welfare.

    It comes back to EXACTLY what I first said when I learned of this: If you have sex with a girl, better get on the registry, or you will have no rights to your child.
    dontknownuthin's Avatar
    dontknownuthin Posts: 2,910, Reputation: 751
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    #11

    May 18, 2009, 12:12 PM

    Synnen, I agree with most of what you are saying. Laws have to be written to handle the worst case scenarios - the birth father registry is a step in the right direction. And yes, you're right - some adoptive parents are terrible - they promise letters and pictures and all this stuff, and never do it. Perhaps the informal agreements they make on these things should be legal mandates. Some things can't be promised because we can't predict our future assets and things like that, particularly in economies like this one, but a birth parent who needs to see that picture every year? She should get the picture reliably and on time EVERY year.

    As for the repayment of expenses, I was not aware any states require any of that repaid. When aI adopted my son (8 years ago - admittedly not recent) most did not. The reason made a world of sense - so that the birth parent being able to change her mind was not based on money. And really most birth moms didn't want any more than they absolutely needed, which was totally fair and reasonable. A few though - well, there are all kinds of people in all kinds of situation - they wanted all they could milk out of the situation, unfortunately. Some should have accepted more than they did. I remember one adoptive couple trying to get the birth mother of their child to accept a window air conditioner because it was August and just unbearable. She wouldn't accept it until they found one at a garage sale for $10 - when she got her paycheck, she repaid the $10. So I'm not by any means trying to say birth parents are getting the "better" end of the deal - a few prey on the needs of adoptive parents and are committing fraud but the vast majority just want a home for their baby, at great loss to themselves.

    I honor your choice and hope that I did not give the wrong impression at all. And I hope your adoptive parents did honor the agreements they made with you - you deserve at least that.
    AK lawyer's Avatar
    AK lawyer Posts: 12,592, Reputation: 977
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    #12

    Jun 2, 2009, 07:29 AM

    A registry such as this really ought to be nation-wide in scope.
    Synnen's Avatar
    Synnen Posts: 7,927, Reputation: 2443
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    #13

    Jun 2, 2009, 09:48 AM

    Dontknownuthin--please look at the rules on giving "agrees" and "disagrees".

    You are abusing the privilege on this thread.

    Frankly, I'd like to know about ONE thing you posted: What states still require parental permission for a minor child? It was my understanding that NO state still allows that.
    GV70's Avatar
    GV70 Posts: 2,918, Reputation: 283
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    #14

    Sep 21, 2009, 11:14 PM

    PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY-SOME STATE LAWS

    Alabama-§ 26-10C-1
    This subsection shall be the exclusive procedure available for any person who claims to be the natural father of a child born out of wedlock on or after January 1, 1997, to entitle that person to notice of and the opportunity to contest any adoption proceeding filed and pending on or after January 1, 1997.

    Alaska- §§ 18.50.165; 25.20.055

    Arizona-§ 8-106.01(A)-(B)

    A person who is seeking paternity, who wants to receive notice of adoption proceedings, and who is the father or claims to be the father of a child shall file notice of a claim of paternity and of his willingness and intent to support the child to the best of his ability with the State Registrar of Vital Statistics in the Department of Health Services.

    Arkansas- § 20-18-702

    Connecticut-§ 46b-172a

    Delaware- tit. 13, §§ 8-401; 8-402; 8-405

    …a man who desires to be notified of a proceeding for adoption of, or termination of parental rights regarding, a child that he may have fathered must register with the registry of paternity before the birth of the child or within 30 days after the birth of the child.

    Florida- § 63.054
    In order to preserve the right to notice and consent to an adoption under this chapter, an unmarried biological father must, as the ‘’registrant,’’ file a notarized claim of paternity form with the Florida Putative Father Registry.

    Georgia- § 19-11-9(d)(1)
    Registrants shall be informed that this registration may be used to establish an obligation to support the child or children and that this registration shall be used to provide notice of adoption proceedings or proceedings to terminate the rights of a biological father who is not a legal father but that registration without further action does not enable the registrant to prevent an adoption or termination by objecting of his rights

    Hawaii- § 584-3.5


    Idaho-§ 16-1513

    Any father of a child born out of wedlock who fails to file and register his notice of the commencement of paternity proceedings prior to the child’s placement for adoption or prior to the date of commencement of any proceeding to terminate the parental rights of the birth mother, whichever event occurs first, is deemed to have waived and surrendered any right in relation to the child and shall be barred from thereafter bringing or maintaining any action to establish his paternity of the child.

    Illinois- Ch. 750 § 50/12.1
    Except as provided in Ch. 750, § 50/8(b) of (c), a putative father who fails to register with the Putative Father Registry is barred from thereafter bringing or maintaining any action to assert any interest in the child,

    Except as provided in Ch. 750, § 50/8(b) or (c), failure to timely register with the Putative Father Registry shall:
    • Be deemed to be a waiver and surrender of any right to notice of any hearing in any judicial proceeding for the adoption of the child, and the consent or surrender of that person to the adoption of the child is not required
    • Constitute an abandonment of the child and shall be prima facie evidence of sufficient grounds to support termination of such father’s parental rights

    Indiana- §§ 31-19-5-2; 31-19-5-3; 31-19-5-5
    … the putative father must register under this chapter to entitle him to notice of the child’s adoption.

    Iowa- § 144.12A

    Minnesota-§ 259.52

    The Commissioner of Health shall establish a fathers’ adoption registry for the purpose of determining the identity and location of a putative father interested in a minor child who is, or is expected to be, the subject of an adoption proceeding, in order to provide notice of the adoption proceeding to the putative father who is not otherwise entitled to notice.
    Missouri- § 192.016
    Any person who has filed a notice of intent to claim paternity of the child with the registry before or after the birth of a child out of wedlock
    Lack of knowledge of the pregnancy does not excuse the failure to file a claim of paternity in a timely manner pursuant to § 453.030. Failure to file in a timely manner shall result in the forfeiture of a man’s right to withhold consent to an adoption proceeding unless:
    • The person was led to believe through the mother’s misrepresentation or fraud that:» The mother was not pregnant, when in fact she was.» The pregnancy was terminated, when in fact the baby was born.» After the birth, the child died, when in fact the child is alive.

    Montana-§§ 42-2-202; 42-2-203; 42-2-204
    A person who engages in sexual relations with a member of the opposite sex is presumed to know that a pregnancy could result.
    The purpose of the putative father registry is to provide notice of termination of parental rights to a putative father who asserts a parental interest in a child so that the putative father may appear in a proceeding and have an opportunity to establish that the putative father’s inchoate rights in the child have vested because a substantial relationship with the child has been established as provided in § 42-2-610.

    Nebraska- § 43-104.01
    New Hampshire-§ 170-B:6

    A person who claims to be the father and who has registered his claim of paternity with the Office of Child Support Services in what shall be known as the New Hampshire Putative Father Registry or in the putative father registry of the State where the child was born shall be given notice by the court of an adoption and shall have the right to request a hearing to prove paternity.

    New York- Soc. Serv. Law § 372-c
    The department shall establish a putative father registry that shall record the names and addresses of:
    • Any person adjudicated by a court of this State to be the father of a child born out of wedlock
    • Any person who has filed with the registry, before or after the birth of a child out of wedlock, a notice of intent to claim paternity of the child
    • Any person adjudicated by a court of another State or territory of the United States to be the father of an out-of-wedlock child, where a certified copy of the court order has been filed with the registry by such person or any other person
    • Any person who has filed with the registry an instrument acknowledging paternity

    An unrevoked notice of intent to claim paternity of a child may be introduced in evidence by any party, other than the person who filed such notice, in any proceeding in which such fact may be relevant.

    Ohio- Rev. Code § 3107.062
    The Department of Job and Family Services shall establish a putative father registry. A putative father may register before or not later than 30 days after the birth of the child.

    Oklahoma- Stat. tit. 10, § 7506-1.1
    The Department of Human Services shall establish a centralized paternity registry. The purpose of the registry is to:
    • Protect the parental rights of a putative father who may wish to affirmatively assume responsibility for children he may have fathered
    • Expedite adoptions of children whose biological fathers are unwilling to assume responsibility for their
    Children by registering with the registry or otherwise acknowledging their children
    Tennessee- § 36-2-318
    Those persons contained on the registry shall be given notice by the petitioners in proceedings for the adoption of a child or for the termination of parental rights involving a child, and they shall be necessary parties to the proceedings.
    Texas- Family Code §§ 160.401; 160.402

    A man who desires to be notified of a proceeding for the adoption of or the termination of parental rights regarding a child that he may have fathered may register with the registry of paternity:
    • Before the birth of the child
    • Not later than the 31st day after the date of the birth of the child

    Virginia- §§ 63.2-1249; 63.2-1250

    A Putative Father Registry is hereby established in the Department of Social Services. A man who desires to be notified of a proceeding for adoption of, or termination of parental rights regarding, a child that he may have fathered shall register with the Putative Father Registry before the birth of the child or within 10 days after the birth.
    Failure to register shall waive all rights of a man who is not an acknowledged, presumed, or adjudicated father to withhold consent to an adoption proceeding unless the man was led to believe through the birth mother’s fraud that the pregnancy was terminated or the mother miscarried when in fact the baby was born, or that the child died when in fact the child is alive.

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