In Florida, if a male who engaged in sexual intercourse believes that it resulted in the conception of a child by a woman he is not married to at the time of conception or when the child is born, he can file with the Putative Father Registry. A putative father is one who has not had his parental rights terminated or otherwise adjudicated by the court, nor has he filed an affidavit seeking to be included on the child’s birth record.
The Florida Office of Vital Statistics manages the Florida Putative Father Registry. Filing with the Registry is a means for an unmarried biological father to attempt to retain legal rights to the child. In other words, the putative father is officially giving notification to the State of Florida that he submits to its jurisdiction and will pay child support if it is proven that he is the biological father of the child.
If you believe you are a putative father, you must file your claim to establish paternity any time before the child is born. It is important to note that your claim of paternity cannot be filed once a petition is filed for termination of your parental rights.
When a claim is filed by a putative father with the Registry, it does not impact the child’s birth certificate. Thus, if you want your name listed on your child’s birth certificate as his or her father, the child’s mother must give her permission or you must obtain a court order.
The Florida Putative Father Registry does not establish paternity, child support, or any other similar types of relief. It does, however, allow you to receive notification if a termination of parental rights proceeding is initiated. If you want to have your paternity, parental rights and child support legally established, it requires a paternity case to be filed.
Paternity must be established before child custody, visitation, or child support matters can be decided. For help in establishing paternity or fighting an erroneous allegation of paternity, call The Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule an appointment.