WHY DO I NEED THE PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY?
You should consider registering your relationship with a child on the Putative Father Registry if:
- You believe that you might be the father of a child
- Your child’s mother is preventing you from having contact with your child
- You don’t know where your minor child is living
The Putative Father Registry can help you find out about any adoptions that may be filed regarding the child. You should also receive notice of other court proceedings that try to terminate your parental rights to the child.
HOW DO I REGISTER?
The Registry is maintained by the Vital Records section of the Georgia Department of Human Resources. The Putative Father Registry contains the name, address and social security number of anyone who claims he is or claims he may be the father of a child.
Sometimes your name will automatically appear on the Registry. Sometimes you must register for your name to appear on the Registry.
You are automatically registered if your name appears on a child’s birth certificate. Your name can appear on a child’s birth certificate if you signed the birth certificate with the mother’s permission. It can also appear on a child’s birth certificate if you were legally married to the child’s mother when the child was born. Finally, if there is a child support order in place for you to pay support for the child, then your name may automatically appear on the Registry.
If you are not automatically registered, you should choose the type of registration that fits your situation. Your registration can claim that either you are the father of a child, or that you are possibly the father of a child.
If your name appears on the Registry, the information on the registry may be used to help establish your child support obligations to the child.
IF I ACKNOWLEDGE PATERNITY ON THE REGISTRY, CAN I DENY IT LATER?
Yes. Generally, you can rescind or ‘undo’ your acknowledgment of paternity any time before a child support or other order is entered that establishes that you are the father of the child. If the mother also signed the Registry, agreeing that you were the father of the child, your ability to deny paternity is more limited. In this case, you can have up to 60 days to rescind or ‘undo’ your acknowledgment of paternity. Within this 60-day period, you can rescind or ‘undo’ your acknowledgment any time unless a court enters an order determining that you are the father. If you discover you are not the child’s father after this 60-day period or after a court order, then you should speak to an attorney about filing a court case to rescind or ‘undo’your acknowledgment of paternity.
WHERE CAN I GET A REGISTRATION FORM?
You can find a Putative Father Registry Registration Form in any county Vital Records Registrar’s Office, in county Health Departments, in Probate Court offices or at the State Office of Vital Records.
You may obtain the form online from the Department of Human Resources, Division of Vital Records. To go to their website, click HERE.