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The Ohio Putative Father Registry–the WHAT?

Erik L. Smith



I am a single man. Yet I had been in Ohio for over a year before hearing of the Ohio Putative Father Registry, and then only in a Probate Law class. The professor was covering how a child could be adopted without the birth father's consent. "ORC 3701.061: A man who has sexual intercourse with a woman is on notice that if a child is born as a result and the man is the putative father, the child may be adopted without his consent pursuant to division (B) of section 3107 of the Revised Code." That section required the man sign the Putative Father Registry within thirty days after the birth to get notice of the adoption.


"Does that mean that to ensure full protection of his rights, an unwed man must sign the registry every time he has sex with a new partner?" I asked the Professor.


"Yes," the professor said.


"Well, what if the woman doesn't tell him about the pregnancy, or rejects him?"


The professor's retort was immediate. "Then he's stupid." I recalled a wrestler I knew in college who documented all the women he had slept with. His friends thought that was stupid. But maybe he was just ahead of his time. I had some signing up to do. Tomorrow, I would register with the Ohio Putative Father Registry.


But where? Where was this "Putative Father Registry?" Perhaps the statutes would tell me. R.C. 3107.065:


"Not later than ninety days after the effective date of this section, the director of job and family services shall...[e]stablish a campaign to promote awareness of the putative father registry. The campaign shall include informational materials about the registry."


Easiest then would be to contact the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. All I had at the moment was the number for the south Columbus office. But that office should know the number for the registry. I dialed. A woman answered.


"Job and Family Services."


"Yes, I'm trying to find the address or phone number to the Ohio Putative Father Registry?"


"The what?"

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Copyright © Erik L. Smith.