INFORMATION FOR UNMARRIED FATHERS: LOUISIANA’S PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY

Posted on May 2, 2013 by Jenny Donaghey-Beckham

One way an unmarried father can protect his rights as to a child born out of wedlock is through registration with the Putative Father Registry. The registry is a database maintained by the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. It includes the name and address of any man who wants to declare that he is the father of a child.

A putative father is a man that is purportedly the father of a child and upon registration will be presumed to be the father. However, this presumption is rebuttable, meaning it is accepted as truth but may later be rebutted by evidence, such as DNA test results, that shows the man is not actually the biological father.

There are several scenarios in which registration will serve to help protect your rights as a father. For example, registering and keeping your contact information current on the Putative Father Registry effectively functions to put the court on notice that, should there be an adoption proceeding concerning the child, you, the purported biological father, should be given notice before there is a termination of rights.

If you are an unmarried father wishing to register, some of the ways you can do so include submitting one of the following to the registry: a notarized Putative Father Affidavit, a certified copy of a paternity judgment, or a certified copy of a filiation judgment.

Each situation is unique and consultation with an attorney, licensed in your jurisdiction, is always recommended to ensure you know all options available to you. More information about the putative rather registry can be obtained by reading Louisiana Revised Statute 9:400, found below.

DISCLAIMER: The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation. I invite you to contact me and welcome your calls, faxes and electronic mail. Contacting Select Legal Services, LLC (Attorney Jenny Donaghey-Beckham) does NOT create an attorney-client relationship. Please do not send any confidential information until such time as an attorney-client relationship has been established. Cautious effort was made to ensure the legal information on this page was accurate as of the date of the writing; reader should not rely on online information, but should instead consult a lawyer to discuss their specific factual situation.

R.S. 9:400 PART I-C PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRY
§400. Putative father registry

A. The Department of Health and Hospitals, office of preventive and public health services, shall establish a putative father registry which shall record the names and addresses of the following:
(1) Any person adjudicated by a court of this state to be the father of the child.
(2) Repealed by Acts 2006, No. 344, §7, eff. June 13, 2006.
(3) Any person adjudicated by a court of another state or territory of the United States to be the father of an out of wedlock child, where a certified copy of the court order has been filed with the registry by such person or any other person.
(4) Any person who has filed with the registry an acknowledgment by authentic act.
(5) Repealed by Acts 2004, No. 26, §15.
(6) Any person who has filed with the registry a judgment of filiation rendered by a court which recognizes a father as having, either formally or informally, acknowledged a child born outside of marriage and in which the father is adjudged the parent of the child.

B. A person filing a declaration to claim paternity of a child or an acknowledgement of paternity shall include therein his current address and shall notify the registry of any change of address pursuant to procedures prescribed by rules and regulations of the Department of Health and Hospitals, office of preventive and public health services.

C. A declaration to claim paternity of a child may be introduced in evidence by any party, other than the person who filed such notice, in any proceeding in which such fact may be relevant.

D. The Department of Health and Hospitals, office of preventive and public health services, shall, upon request, provide the names and addresses of persons listed with the registry to any court or authorized agency, and such information shall not be divulged to any other person, except upon order of a court for good cause shown.

E. The Department of Health and Hospitals, office of preventive and public health services, shall promulgate all rules and regulations necessary to carry out the purposes of this Part.

Acts 1989, No. 361, §1; Acts 1993, No. 634, §2, eff. June 15, 1993; Acts 2004, No. 26, §§5, 15; Acts 2006, No. 344, §§4 and 7, eff. June 13, 2006.