Anonymous asked in Pregnancy & ParentingAdoption · 9 years ago

Putative Father Laws?

I'm trying to figure out how the registry laws work. If a father signs the registry and stops the adoption from happening 2 months prior to the birth but then gives the birth mother no support for the rest of the pregnancy and decides that once the child is born that he doesn't want full custody of the baby but wants the mother to keep the baby so the father can come to her house whenever he has the time and money to, does that fall under abandonment, is he revoking his 'putative father rights?


to put bluntly, what if the mother doesn't want the child or the father in her life? what would happen if he does take custody but comes to her trying to leave the baby with her?

2 Answers

  • 9 years ago
    Favorite Answer

    Constitutional Rights

    The U.S. Supreme Court has protected a putative father's right to constitutional protection of his parental rights when he has established a substantial relationship with his child. The Court defined a substantial relationship as the existence of a biological link between the child and putative father, and the father's commitment to the responsibilities of parenthood by participating in the child's upbringing.1

    Several critical concerns, however, have been unresolved by the Court. For instance, when an infant is placed for adoption at birth, the putative father can have no more than a biological link to his child; he never received an opportunity to develop a substantial relationship with his child. The Court has yet to rule on what this putative father must do to protect his parental rights. Consequently, there is a lack of uniformity among States as to the level of protection available to unwed fathers.2

    Putative Father Registries

    In almost all jurisdictions, putative fathers are entitled to notice of proceedings to terminate parental rights or adoption proceedings. States generally require a putative father to register on the putative father registry or acknowledge paternity within a certain time frame in order to receive notice of such proceedings.3 Approximately4 21 States have statutes authorizing the establishment of putative father registries. Several States, however, only mandate by law that a putative father file a notice of his paternity claim within a certain period of time. Failure to register or file may preclude the right to notice of termination or adoption proceedings.

    Information Included in Registries

    States differ in the information they maintain in their registries. Among the information required by the various States is:

    Name, address, social security number and date of birth of putative father and birth mother

    Name and address of any person adjudicated by a court to be the father

    Child's name and date of birth or expected month and year of birth

    Registration date

    Other information deemed necessary

    Revocation of and Access to Information

    Approximately 15 States allow putative fathers to revoke a notice of intent to claim paternity.5 Of these States, many require that the putative father submit a signed, notarized written statement. While some States allow revocation of information at anytime, revocation is effective only after the child's birth in some jurisdictions.

    Access to information maintained in registries also varies from State to State. Many jurisdictions permit certain persons access to registry records. In general, these are people with a direct interest in a case. Typically, persons entitled to access include:

    Birth mothers



    Licensed adoption agencies

    Prospective adoptive parents

    Any other person upon a court order forgood cause shown

    Registries of other States

    1 Stanley v. Illinois, 405 U.S. 645 (1972); Quilloin v. Walcott, 434 U.S. 246 (1978); Caban v. Mohammed, 441 U.S. 380 (1979); Lehr v. Robertson, 463 U.S. 248 (1983).

    2 This summary is limited to a putative father's right to notice of adoption or termination proceedings when the child is relinquished for adoption at birth or shortly thereafter.

    3 Situations in which the birth mother and putative father reside in different States may be complicated by the variability in State adoption law regarding putative father registration or acknowledgement.

    4 The word approximately is used to stress the fact that statutes are constantly being revised and updated.

    5 This summary does not include statutes addressing voluntary declaration of paternity requirements.

    Statutes-At-A-Glance are products summarizing elements of State adoption laws prepared by the Child Welfare Information Gateway. The Gatewayis a service of the Children's Bureau, Administration on Children, Youth and Families, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

    The Statutes-At-A-Glance listings summarize specific sections of each State's code. While every attempt has been made to be as complete as possible, additional information on these topics may be in other sections of a State's code as well as in agency regulations, case law, and informal practices and procedures. Readers interested in interpretation of specific statutory provisions within an individual jurisdiction should review the State's statutory provisions in their entirety, review applicable case law interpreting the statutes, and consult with professionals within the State familiar with the statutes' implementation.

    To obtain additional copies of this product or more information about other Gateway products, contact the Gateway at:

    Child Welfare Information Gateway

    Children's Bureau/ACYF

    1250 Maryland Avenue, SW

    Eighth Floor

    Washington, DC 20024

    800.394.3366 or 703.385.7565

    E-mail: click here


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  • 9 years ago

    You can't put a child up for adoption without the father's permission. The registry just alerts the father so that the mother doesn't put the child up for adoption claiming she doesn't know the father when she does. If the father isn't giving the mother support, he's not revoking any of his rights and it's not abandonment if he sees the child every now and then and left the child in a safe place. The mother can sue for child support, but if the father doesn't have a job or pay taxes, it might not do any good.

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