Putative father means a reputed father, as established by:
- Any person adjudicated by a court of a state to be the father of a child born out of wedlock.
- Any person who has filed with the registry before or after the birth of a child born out of wedlock, a notice of intent to claim paternity of the child.
- Any person adjudicated by a court of another state or territory of the United States to be the father of a child born out of wedlock, where a certified copy of the court order has been filed with the registry by the person or any other person.
- Any person who has filed with the registry an instrument acknowledging paternity.
The majority of the states in the United States have a putative father registry, usually administered by the state's Department of Vital Records, where an unmarried man who believes that he is the father of a child, may register and claim to be the father of this child. In order to register in the Registry, an alleged father must also agree to become financially responsible for the care of the child. A putative father that has properly registered in the registry can usually object to the placement of his child for adoption, if he meets certain state law requirements, that vary by state.