A Putative Father is defined as a man who may be the child’s biological father, but who is not married to the child’s mother on or before the date of the child’s birth and has not established his paternity through legal proceedings.
In Illinois, the Department of Children and Family Services established a Putative Father Registry, pursuant to 750 ILCS 50/12.1, for the purpose of determining the identity and location of a putative father of a minor child who is, or is expected to be, the subject of an adoption proceeding, in order to provide notice of such proceeding to the putative father.
A putative father may register with the Department before the birth of the child but shall register no later than 30 days after the birth of the child. A putative father, for whom paternity isn’t otherwise established, and 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, unless he establishes the following through clear and convincing evidence:
- That it was not possible for him to register within the period of time specified,
- That his failure to register was through no fault of his own, and
- That he registered within ten (10) days after it became possible for him to file.
It is in a father’s best interest to file with the Putative Father Registry if they had unprotected sex with a female and do not wish for her to put the possible child of the relationship up for adoption. If the female is not pregnant, it may be a waste of time, but if she is, it will be a world of relief.