Protecting Your Rights As An Unwed Father.
Do you think you may be the father of a child born outside of marriage?
If so, you may be at danger of losing your parental rights unless you take action. Created in 2010, the South Carolina Responsible Father Registry gives fathers the ability to register as a potential father of a child and therefore protect their rights as the potential father in any actions to terminate their rights or place a child up for adoption.
South Carolina law provides that a father must be noticed of an action for the termination of parental rights or adoption in these five situations:
- you have been found to be the father by the Court,
- you are named as the father on the birth certificate,
- you live with the child or the child’s mother,
- you have been named as the father by the mother in a sworn statement, or
- the father has registered with the Responsible Father Registry.
It is free and very easy to register yourself on the Responsible Father Registry. All that is needed is the father’s name and address, and the name of the mother; although, the father may also enter the child’s name and birthdate if known. Once registered, you will be noticed if the mother of the child files for termination of parental rights or adoption. You must remember to keep your address current with the registry in order to receive proper notice of these hearings. You may also revoke the registration at a later date if you so choose.
Joining the Registry does not admit paternity of a child, it only serves as a protection for your rights in an adoption or termination action. Also, the Registry is not publicly accessible, it can only be accessed by attorneys or the Department of Social Services in regards to actions concerning the child. Finally, the Registry cannot be used by DSS to locate a father in order to establish or collect child support.
Only you, as a potential father, can register with the Responsible Registry.
In order to do so, you can go online to https://ssl.sc.gov/DSSFatherRegistry/FatherReg/RegIndex.aspx.
This is only the first step of protecting your rights as an unwed father.
If you need help to know and protect your rights as a father, call us today.