As many of my readers know, I am passionate about dads’ rights. I believe that a father who wants to be an active and positive parent in a child’s life should have protections under the law to do that. It’s not always that easy, however, especially when you have a child out of wedlock. Your girlfriend might move or get married or list someone else on the birth certificate. A lot of things can happen. How do you protect your rights? The first step is to register yourself on the Putative Father Registry.
The Putative Father Registry is a database where men who believe they may have fathered a child can register their information with the Arkansas Department of Health and Vital Records so that he can receive notice if there is ever an adoption proceeding regarding his child. Registration is free. You fill out the Putative Father Registry form, sign it in the presence of a notary, and send it to the Arkansas Department of Health.
If you don’t know which state the child and the mother are living in, be sure to fill out a putative father registry form in every state in which they might live.
Listing yourself on the Putative Father Registry is only the first step, and it only entitles you to notice of an adoption proceeding. If you would like to establish paternity and exercise your right to visitation, you will need to file an action for a determination of paternity, which would include a DNA test, and petition the court for visitation with your child.
If you believe that you have fathered a child and would like to exercise your rights, contact me for a free consultation.