There are many rights a biological father has when it comes to his children and his opinion on their potential adoption proceedings. The paternal rights of a father can only be exercised if the biological relationship of the father and the child has been established or is presumed. There are a variety of ways for either to be achieved, however this article will discuss the right a father has to indicate his paternal intentions in a paternity registry, or putative registry. This type of man is called a putative father.
Some states offer a Putative Registry for unmarried males in order to maintain and claim their biological rights to children. This state level registry allows men to log and account for by way of notary public, all the women they had intercourse with in order to retain their potential parental rights. This registry would provide a way for required biological fathers to be notified if any possible pending adoption proceedings were to take place for children they may have created.
Kansas Putative or Paternity Registry
At least 24 states have established paternity registries. Kansas is not one of the states that provides a Putative Registry where fathers can indicate their intention to claim paternity. However, Kansas provides forms that are filed with various social services departments, registrars of vital statistics and other similar offices, which provide for voluntary acknowledgment of paternity. Filing an acknowledgement of paternity establishes a father’s indication of intent with the child and claims his paternal rights. This solidifies that he will receive notice if any adoption or other court proceedings were to ever take place or if there were matters that included terminating his rights as a father.
Minimum Requirements to Establish Paternity in the U.S. through Affidavit
Many state laws vary when it comes to establishing paternity, however, there are overarching federally mandated requirements that outline the minimum criteria or standards a man must meet to establish paternity through an affidavit, which requires the following information:
- The current name, address, Social Security number, and date of birth of both parents;
- The child’s current full name, date of birth, and place of birth;
- Signature lines for the mother, the father, for witnesses or notaries;
- The form must include a statement to be signed by both parents stating they understand that signing the affidavit is voluntary and that they understand their rights, responsibilities, options and consequences; and
- There must be a brief explanation of the legal significance and consequences of signing the form and that both parents have 60 days to reconsider. Details about the information that must be included in paternity affidavits can be found in an Action Transmittal (OSCE-AT-98-02).
Ways to Establish Paternity in Kansas
Although married couples are presumed to be the parents of a child, Kansas provides two ways for unmarried couples to establish a father’s rights. A father can either sign a VAP form, or he can receive a court order stating he is the child’s father. A VAP form is usually signed at the hospital at the time the baby is born or shortly after. Both parents can read and mutually understand and agree to the form and will collectively sign in front of a witness stating they are the biological parents of the child. If this is the case, the father’s name will be added to the birth certificate. The other way to establish paternity is if a court action is brought forth seeking to establish paternity through a court order. This is the more involved, expensive and lengthy way to establish paternity, but sometimes it is necessary.
If you think or know you are the father of a child who is being put up for adoption and you want to know your rights, we are here to help. Paternity issues and father’s rights in Kansas can be confusing. However, it doesn’t have to be when you have the help of an experienced team of attorneys who are knowledgeable in this exact area. Call the seasoned Kansas Family Law Attorney at McDowell Chartered Legal Services today at (316) 633-4322 to see how we can successfully assist you in your matter.