Prospective (Putative) Fathers

A putative father is a man whose legal relationship to a child has not been established, but who may be the biological father of a child born to a woman to whom he is not married when the child is born. When a male has relationship with a female which could result in the birth of a child which the male/father is unaware of, then the man/father who wants to ensure he does not give up his rights to any unknown child or children is required to take certain steps to ensure his rights are not lost. Failure to comply with the provisions of the law will almost certainly result in a loss of the opportunity to participate in the care and upbringing of their children.

Principles Behind Putative Father’s Registry

The rights of a father in his children are balanced against the state’s interest in requiring biological fathers to demonstrate their commitment to providing appropriate medical care and financial support and by establishing legal paternity. A biological father’s interest may be lost entirely, or greatly diminished by failing to timely exercise it, or by a failure to strictly comply with the available legal steps to substantiate it.

Putative Father’s Registry

A person who is the father or claims to be the father of a child born out of wedlock may claim rights pertaining to his paternity of the child by:

1) Commencing proceedings to establish paternity under section 7-1111, Idaho Code, and

2) By filing with the vital statistics unit of the Department of Health and Welfare notice of his filing of proceedings to establish his paternity of the child born out of wedlock.

The vital statistics unit of the Department of Health and Welfare shall provide forms.