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National Putative Father Registry – Utah Responsible Father Act

Putative Father Registry – The general assembly in Utah is considering a bill which would create an Interstate Compact on Putative Father Registries. Indiana along with more than 30 other states have a Putative Father Registry (“PFR”).

In short a PFR, gives a man who thinks he might have fathered a child the opportunity to self-identify himself as possibly being the father of the child. In Indiana, for example, a man who registers with the Indiana PFR is assured of receiving notice of an adoption by providing the address at which he would like to receive the notice. Once he receives notice, he is given the opportunity contest the adoption, if he wishes.

However, the Indiana PFR only applies to children conceived in Indiana. The idea behind the Utah legislation and a bill in Congress, called the Proud Father Act, is that there would be a central location for the collection of PFR registrations from all states, thereby assuring a man of the opportunity to receive notice of an adoption if the child is conceived in a state other than the state in which the adoption is filed.

The Proud Father Act has been introduced a few times in the United States Congress. In spite of support of such national organizations as the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys and the National Council for Adoption, the federal legislation has not gained traction. Apparently, legislators in Utah, like many adoption professionals, have tired of waiting for Congress to take action.