Putative Father Registry Frequently Asked Questions

The Georgia Department of Public Health, Vital Records Section is responsible for maintaining the Putative Father Registry – a list of the names of men who have either acknowledged paternity of a child by completing the Paternity Acknowledgment form or indicated the possibility of paternity without acknowledging paternity of the child.

Frequently Asked Questions

What does putative mean?

Putative means generally regarded as such, supposed, or reputed to be.

What is the purpose of the Registry?

The Registry allows possible biological but not legal fathers to provide identifying information about themselves, the mother, and the child, so registered men can be notified about adoption proceedings.

When should a man place his name in the Registry?

The possible biological but not legal father is encouraged to place his name in the Registry as soon as possible after engaging in a sexual relationship with a woman who is not his legal wife where such union could result in the birth of a child, preferably before the child is born.

How can a man place his name and other information into the Registry?

A man can use the Putative Father Registry Registration Form (no. 3960) which can be obtained in a county Vital Records registrars office, county Health Department, county Probate Judges office, or the state office of Vital Records.

What information should the man provide?

The man must provide his complete name, current residence address, Social Security number, complete name of the mother (including maiden name), mother's most recent address, mother's social security number (if known), and the name, sex, and birth date of the child. If the child is not yet born, give the estimated date of delivery.

Can a man place his name in the Registry after the child is born?

Yes. A man can place his name in the Registry at any time, however, many adoptions take place immediately after the birth of a child. If his name has not been placed in the Registry prior to the placement of the child for adoption, he may not receive notice of the adoption proceedings.

How long will the man's information remain in the registry?

The man's information will remain in the Registry until the child reaches the age of majority (18 years old).

If a registered man moves to a new residence, how can he update this information on the Registry?

It is the responsibility of a registered man to provide his new residence address if he moves to another location. He can do this by mailing or faxing a letter to the Putative Father Registry manager which shows his complete name, old address information, and the new address information. The Registry manager will then delete the old address and add the new address information to the Registry.

How often should a man register his name with the Registry?

A man may register his name more than once. If a man is having a continuing relationship with a woman who is not his legal wife, he should consider registering his name at least every two years.

Is there an age limit for a male to place his name in the Putative Father Registry?

No. Any male who has had or is having a relationship with a woman who is not his legal wife may place his name in the Putative Father Registry, irrespective of his age.

Is there a cost to place or change the man's information in the Registry?

There is no cost for a possible biological but not legal father to place his name, or at a later date change information, in the Registry.

If a man's name is in the Registry, will his name also be shown as the father on the child's birth certificate?

Only if the registered man has completed a Paternity Acknowledgment. If the man did not complete a Paternity Acknowledgment, his name will not be placed on the child's birth certificate as father of the child, even if his name appears in the Registry.

Who can request a search of the Putative Father Registry?

The Putative Father Registry is not a public file. The Georgia Code states "a governmental department, board, commission, bureau, agency, or political subdivision of any state for purposes of locating an absent parent. . . or the department (Human Resources), a licensed child-placing agency, or a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia. . . for purposes of locating a biological father. . ." can request a search of the Registry. (Section 19-11-9 (e) OCGA)

Is there a cost to have the Registry searched?

Yes. There is a $10 charge per name to search the Registry ". . . unless presentation of an affidavit of the petitioner's indigence is provided." (Section 19-11-9 (f) OCGA)

What information must be provided by the requester to search the Registry?

The request for information for a search of the Putative Father Registryshall include the mother's complete name (including maiden name), any other names the mother may be known by, the mother's last known residence address, mother's social security number (if known), and the child's complete name, child's sex, and child's date of birth, unless the child has not been born at the time of registration.

When the Registry is searched, what information will the requester receive?

If there is a match between the information provided by the requester and information contained in the Registry, the requester will receive a Certification Statement showing the possible biological father's complete name, social security number, last residence address, and other information that had been previously provided to the Registry by the man.

If there is no match between the information provided by the requester and information contained in the Registry, the requester will receive a Not on File Statement certifying no possible father's information was found in the Registry.

Can the mother add a man's name to the Registry?

No. The Georgia Code does not allow anyone other than the man being able to add his information to the Registry.

Can a possible biological father complete a Paternity Acknowledgment if his name is included in the Registry?

Yes. A Paternity Acknowledgment is encouraged. A Paternity Acknowledgement can be completed if both the mother and father agree and if the mother was not married at the time of conception, birth, or any time in between. A Paternity Acknowledgment cannot be completed if the mother was married to another person at the time of the birth of the child. In these cases, paternity must be determined through a court order.

Where can a Paternity Acknowledgment be completed if the father wishes to acknowledge paternity of his child?

Paternity Acknowledgments can be completed in the county probate judge’s office, the county Vital Records registrar's office, and at the state office of Vital Records.


Contact Information

Vital Records
2600 Skyland Drive NE
Atlanta, GA 30319-3640
(404) 679-4702
Fax: (404) 679-4793