Putative Father

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putative father

A man who claims to be or who is alleged to be the father of a "nonmarital" child.

After a man is proven, usually by genetic tests, to be the father of a child, he is more often known as the biological father or BIRTHFATHER.

A number of states have established putative father registries, wherein a man who believes himself to be the father of a child may register his alleged paternity with the state. Men on this registry must be notified before a child may be placed for adoption. Putative fathers are usually not married to the mother of the child nor are they named as the father on the child's birth certificate.

The registry approach in New York State's law was upheld by the U.S. Supreme Court in Lehr v. Robertson. (See also BIRTHMOTHER; CONSENT (TO AN ADOPTION); UNWED PARENTS.)

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