Home » Illinois Putative Father Registry & Illinois Paternity Laws

Fathers and Child Support ModificationJudging only by its name, The Illinois Putative Father Registry doesn’t exactly sound inviting. Any marketing firm worth its salt could have pointed out that people generally have an aversion to being put onto a registry and the word “putative,” which is fairly archaic if not off-putting legalese, might easily be mistaken for the word punitive. The registry as part of the department of healthcare and family services, is actually an effective tool for establishing paternity in Illinois, and thus establishing parental rights in Illinois.

The registry is not punitive and, in fact, it is a registry that many men are grateful for its existence.

The word “putative” is related to the word “reputed” and means “assumed.” According to the Illinois registry’s home page: “A Putative Father is defined as a man who may be the child’s biological father, but who is not married to the child’s mother on or before the date of the child’s birth and has not established his paternity through legal proceedings such as being named on the child’s birth certificate.”

So, why would a man who fits the above description want to be listed on such a registry? The registry, out of Springfield, Illinois, is tasked with offering men who claim to be the legal fathers of Illinois children an option for legally making that claim and being added to a registry that is searchable. This is a tool established to help parents to establish paternity.

Without being recognized as being the parent of a child, a putative father has no parental rights especially when it comes to the future adoption of the child. He also may have his rights to custody and visitation called into question in other ways.

How Can a Man Establish Paternity?

Hospitals offer Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity forms at the birth of a child. If a man wasn’t present at the birth, he should consider whether to register with the putative father registry and beginning legal proceedings to establish paternity within 30 days of registration. If he fails to register in this time frame he may lose legal parental rights and not have a say in adoption proceedings.

family law attorney in Belleville or a Father’s Rights Attorney can assist a father sign an Acknowledgement of Paternity, establish paternity at the Clerk of Circuit Court or through a Healthcare and Family Services representative.

What Happens If You Don’t Register Paternity?

Not registering means that interested parties, including legal entities involving child custody and parental rights cannot search the registry and find your information. The registry is a first step toward having a say in your child’s destiny. Without it you are left with little or no recourse and your child can be adopted legally.

If you have registered with the Putative Father Registry and your child is being considered for adoption you will receive notices of pending adoption and be kept informed of the process.

What Happens After A Putative Father Registers?

After adding your information to the registry, you are still required to establish paternity through a court order or a signed acknowledgement that they are the father of the child in question.

And while registering does not mean that a father will be given custody, legal decision making powers concerning the child or even visitation rights, the father can be held financially responsible for the child or children and along with this can come the responsibility of child support in Illinois.

An Illinois family law attorney or father’s rights lawyer can further clarify your rights and responsibilities regarding your decision to register or to pursue further parental rights.

Consult a Family Law Attorney to Learn More

It is not uncommon for verbal promises to be made about the fate of a child born out of wedlock. If you want to be sure your rights concerning your child are being honored, it’s best to schedule an appointment with a family law attorney to receive legal advice on all aspects of your parental rights and responsibilities including but not limited to child visitation, child support orders, shared and primary custody, navigating family court, dna testing and other forms of paternity testing and related issues.

The Belleville Illinois law firm of Wilson, Dabler & Associates, LLC are skilled attorneys focusing in the practice area of Family Law, Mediation, and Parental Rights. We’re proud to be considered among the most effective custody lawyers Belleville has to offer. Call us to schedule an appointment: 618-235-1600

Wilson, Dabler & Associates, L.L.C.

14 South Second Street
Belleville, IL 62220

Satellite Office (by appointment only)
216 North Market Street
Waterloo, IL 62298


Contact Us

Fax- 618-235-1617




Office Hours

8:30am-5pm Monday-Thursday
8:30am-4pm on Fridays
Closed for lunch from Noon-1pm
After Hours Appointments Available