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What is the Putative Father Registry?

In order to protect your rights as a father, the state of Missouri has set up a registry so you can be informed if a child you believe is yours is put up for adoption. It is called the Putative Father Registry, according to the Department of Health and Senior Services. This registry allows you to make an official claim of paternity to a child.

The registry lists the names and addresses of men who have fathered a child outside of marriage. If you were married to the mother of your child when he or she was born, then you do not need to be a part of this registry since your marriage gave you automatic rights to the child. You will already be informed if your child is put up for adoption.

You do need to establish paternity or make a formal claim of paternity before your name can be placed on the registry. Once on the registry, you have made an official claim to the child, but it is not a legal claim unless you have recognized rights by a court. You can add your name before the child is born or within 15 days after his or her birth.

If your child is put up for adoption by his or her mother, then the registry is checked. Having your name will signal a notification so you can be contacted. This allows you to then claim your rights to the child if you want to do so. This information is for education and is not legal advice.

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