What Is the Putative Father Registry?

Unnmarried Florida men can retain paternal rights through a legal registry.

The putative father registry — not to be confused with punitive, meaning punishment — is a legal method by which an unmarried Florida man can legally document any woman with whom they engage in intercourse.

The purpose of such documentation is to retain parental rights for any children they may father with a woman while unmarried. As a practical matter, the putative father registry is typically most beneficial for men who frequently have “hookups” since it may be difficult to track down a woman who goes on to eventually have a child that could be theirs.

About Florida’s Putative Father Registry

The express stated purpose of the Putative Father Registry, as outlined by Section 63.054 of the Florida Statutes, is to preserve an unmarried biological father’s right to notice and consent in the event of an adoption.

To receive these rights, a Florida man must complete a series of notarized forms to file a legally valid claim of paternity. This claim may be filed at any time before a child’s birth but cannot be filed at any time after a petition for termination of parental rights is filed. Your attorney will help you through these steps to ensure your claim of paternity is legally recognized.

Then, a $9.00 indexing fee must be paid and submitted with the Florida Putative Father Registry – Claim of Paternity. It should be noted that a child’s birth record is not affected by completing Putative Father Registry forms. To be listed on birth records as a child’s father, a Florida man needs either a court order or the mother’s agreement.

Applicants may also update or revoke a Claim of Paternity by using form DH 1964. Once again, your attorney will help you through the specifics of filing a DH 1964 form to make any changes to your Claim of Paternity documentation.

If you wish to safeguard your legal rights after intercourse and prior to a potential child’s birth, utilize Florida’s Putative Father Registry with the help of a Florida family law attorney. Should you need to search the registry, a Florida family lawyer will request a Registry search to get you the information you need. 

If you have questions regarding your court case, or are unaware as to the terms and conditions in, talk to, and retain, a family law attorney who can help. Contact Damien McKinney of The McKinney Law Group to discuss your case further. He can be reached by phone at 813-428-3400 or by e-mail at [email protected]