PUTATIVE FATHER REGISTRIES
*** CODE SECTION *** 08/08/97
As used in this chapter, the term:
(1) "Adult" means any individual who is not a child under the definition in paragraph (2) of this Code section.
(1.1) "Biological father" means the male who impregnated the biological mother resulting in the birth of the child.
(2) "Child" means any individual who is:
(A) Under the age of 17 years;
(B) Under the age of 21 years, who committed an act of delinquency before reaching the age of 17 years, and who has been placed under the supervision of the court or on probation to the court; or
(C) Under the age of 18 years, if alleged to be a "deprived child" as defined by this article.
(3) "Community rehabilitation center" means a rehabilitation and custodial center established within a county for the purpose of assisting in the rehabilitation of delinquent and unruly children in a neighborhood and family environment in cooperation with community educational, medical, and social agencies, which center meets the following requirements:
(A) Is located within any county having a juvenile court presided over by at least one full-time judge exercising jurisdiction exclusively over juvenile matters; and
(B) Is operated by a nonprofit corporation organized under Chapter 3 of Title 14, the "Georgia Nonprofit Corporation Code," and has a full-time chief executive officer. The charter, bylaws, and method of selecting the board of directors and chief executive officer of such nonprofit corporation shall be subject to the unanimous approval of the chief judge of the judicial circuit in which the county is located, the judge or judges of the juvenile court, the superintendent of the county school district, and the commissioner of corrections, which approval shall be in writing and shall be appended to the charter and bylaws of the nonprofit organization. Any amendment of the charter or bylaws of the nonprofit corporation shall be subject to the same written approval as the original charter and bylaws.
(4) "Court" or "juvenile court" means the court exercising jurisdiction over juvenile matters.
(5) "Custodian" means a person, other than a parent or legal guardian, who stands in loco parentis to the child or a person to whom legal custody of the child has been given by order of a court, and who has the rights and duties provided in Code Section 15-11-43.
(6) "Delinquent act" means:
(A) An act designated a crime by the laws of this state, or by the laws of another state if the act occurred in that state, under federal laws, or by local ordinance, and the crime does not fall under subparagraph (C) of paragraph (12) of this Code section and is not a juvenile traffic offense as defined in Code Section 15-11-49;
(B) The act of disobeying the terms of supervision contained in a court order which has been directed to a child who has been adjudged to have committed a delinquent act; or
(C) Failing to appear as required by a citation issued with regard to a violation of Code Section 3-3-23.
(7) "Delinquent child" means a child who has committed a delinquent act and is in need of treatment or rehabilitation.
(8) "Deprived child" means a child who:
(A) Is without proper parental care or control, subsistence, education as required by law, or other care or control necessary for his physical, mental, or emotional health or morals;
(B) Has been placed for care or adoption in violation of law;
(C) Has been abandoned by his parents or other legal custodian;
(D) Is without a parent, guardian, or custodian.
No child who in good faith is being treated solely by spiritual means through prayer in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination by a duly accredited practitioner thereof shall, for that reason alone, be considered to be a "deprived child."
(9) "Judge" means judge or judges of the court exercising jurisdiction over juvenile matters. Such term shall not mean or include an associate juvenile court judge or associate juvenile court traffic judge unless specifically so stated.
(10) "Juvenile court intake officer" means the juvenile court judge, associate juvenile court judge, court service worker, or person employed as a juvenile probation or intake officer designated by the juvenile court judge or, where there is none, the superior court judge, which person is on duty for the purpose of determining whether any child taken into custody should be released or detained and, if detained, the appropriate place of detention. Each superior or juvenile court judge shall provide for one of the above persons to be on duty or on call as an intake officer during each 24 hour period.
(10.1) "Legal father" means a male who:
(A) Has legally adopted a child;
(B) Was married to the biological mother of that child at the time the child was conceived or was born, unless such paternity was disproved by a final order pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 7 of Title 19;
(C) Married the legal mother of the child after the child was born and recognized the child as his own, unless such paternity was disproved by a final order pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 7 of Title 19;
(D) Has been determined to be the father by a final paternity order pursuant to Article 3 of Chapter 7 of Title 19; or
(E) Has legitimated the child by a final order pursuant to Code Section 19-7-22, and who has not surrendered or had terminated his rights to the child.
(10.2) "Legal mother" means the female who is the biological or adoptive mother of the child and who has not surrendered or had terminated her rights to the child.
(10.3) "Parent" means either the legal father or the legal mother of the child.
(10.4) "Putative father registry" means the registry established and maintained pursuant to subsections (d) and (e) of Code Section 19-11-9.
(10.5) "Shelter care" means:
(A) A licensed foster home or home approved by the court which may be a public or private home or the home of the noncustodial parent or a relative; or
(B) A facility operated by a licensed child welfare agency.
(11) "Status offender" means a juvenile who is charged with or adjudicated of an offense which would not be a crime if it were committed by an adult, in other words, an act which is only an offense because of the perpetrator's status as a juvenile. Such offenses shall include, but are not limited to, truancy, running away from home, incorrigibility, and unruly behavior.
(12) "Unruly child" means a child who:
(A) While subject to compulsory school attendance is habitually and without justification truant from school;
(B) Is habitually disobedient of the reasonable and lawful commands of his parent, guardian, or other custodian and is ungovernable;
(C) Has committed an offense applicable only to a child;
(D) Without just cause and without the consent of his parent or legal custodian deserts his home or place of abode;
(E) Wanders or loiters about the streets of any city, or in or about any highway or any public place, between the hours of 12:00 Midnight and 5:00 A.M.;
(F) Disobeys the terms of supervision contained in a court order which has been directed to such child, who has been adjudicated unruly; or
(G) Patronizes any bar where alcoholic beverages are being sold, unaccompanied by such child's parents, guardian, or custodian, or possesses alcoholic beverages; and
(H) In any of the foregoing, is in need of supervision, treatment, or rehabilitation; or
(I) Has committed a delinquent act and is in need of supervision, but not of treatment or rehabilitation.
*** CODE SECTION *** 08/08/97
(a) The petition to terminate parental rights and all subsequent court documents in the proceeding shall be entitled "In the matter of ___________, a child.", except upon appeal, in which event the anonymity of the child shall be preserved by appropriate use of initials. The petition shall be in writing.
(b) The petition shall be made, verified, and endorsed by the court as provided in Article 1 of this chapter for a petition alleging deprivation.
(c) The petition shall state clearly that an order for termination of parental rights is requested and that the effect thereof will be as stated in Code Section 15-11-80, and shall set forth in ordinary and concise language the facts required by Code Section 15-11-25.
(d) When a petition seeks termination of the rights of a biological father who is not the legal father and who has not surrendered his rights to the child, the petition shall be amended to include a certificate from the putative father registry disclosing the name, address, and social security number of any registrant acknowledging paternity of the child pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2)(A) of Code Section 19-11-9 or indicating the possibility of paternity of a child of the child's mother pursuant to subparagraph (d)(2)(B) of Code Section 19-11-9 for a period beginning no later than two years immediately prior to the child's date of birth. Such certificate shall document a search of the registry on or after the date of the filing of the petition and shall include a statement that the registry is current as to filings of registrants as of the date of he petition or as of a date later than the date of the petition.
*** CODE SECTION *** 08/08/97
(a) Upon filing of the petition, summons shall be issued forthwith on the child's parents, guardian, lawful custodian, and on the person presently having physical custody of the child.
(b) A copy of the petition shall be attached to the summons in all cases other than service by publication. When served by publication, the notice shall indicate the general nature of the allegations and where a copy of the petition may be obtained by the child's parents, guardian, lawful custodian, and the person presently having physical custody of the child. Such copy shall be available from the court during business hours. A free copy shall be available to the parent or, upon request, shall be mailed to the parent. All summons shall contain a statement to the effect that the hearing is for the purpose of terminating parental rights.
(c) The summons shall require the person who has physical custody of the child to appear personally and to bring the child before the court at the time and place stated in the summons. Where, at the court's discretion, it is deemed in the interest of the child that the child need not be brought before the court, the court may so indicate. The summons shall be served at least 30 days before the time set for the hearing, and a copy of the petition shall be served together with the summons and shall be made in the manner provided in Code Section 9-11-4, relating to service in civil practice.
(d) If the paternity of a child born out of wedlock has been established in a judicial proceeding to which the father was a party prior to the filing of the petition, the father shall be served with summons as provided by this article. Such father has the right to be heard unless he has relinquished all paternal rights with reference to the child.
(e) If there is a biological father who is not the legal father of a child and he has not executed a surrender as specified in paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 he shall be notified of the proceedings pursuant to this Code section in the following circumstances:
(1) If his identity is known to the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney;
(2) If he is a registrant on the putative father registry who has acknowledged paternity of the child in accordance with subparagraph (d)(2)(A) of Code Section 19-11-9;
(3) If he is a registrant on the putative father registry who has indicated possible paternity of child of the child's mother in accordance with subparagraph (d)(2)(B) of Code Section 19-11-9 during a period beginning two years immediately prior to the child's date of birth; or
(4) If the court finds from the evidence, including but not limited to the affidavit of the mother executed in compliance with the court's requirement pursuant to subsection (g) of this Code section in the form provided in subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26, that such biological father who is not the legal father has performed any of the following acts:
(A) Lived with the child;
(B) Contributed to the child's support;
(C) Made any attempt to legitimate the child; or
(D) Provided support or medical care for the mother either during her pregnancy or during her hospitalization for the birth of the child.
(f) Notification provided for in subsection (e) of this Code section shall be given to a biological father who is not a legal father by the following methods:
(1) Registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, at his last known address, which notice shall be deemed received upon the date of delivery shown on the return receipt;
(2) Personal service, which notice shall be deemed received when personal service is perfected; or
(3) Publication once a week for three weeks in the official organ of the county where the petition has been filed and of the county of his last known address, which notice shall be deemed received upon the date of the last publication.
If feasible, the methods specified in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection shall be used before publication.
(g) If there is a biological father who is not the legal father of the child and the identity of such biological father is not known to the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney, then the court shall be authorized to require the mother to execute an affidavit regarding such father in the form provided in subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26 or show cause before the court if she refuses. If the court finds from the evidence including but not limited to the affidavit of the mother that such biological father who is not the legal father has not performed any of the following acts:
(1) Lived with the child;
(2) Contributed to the child's support;
(3) Made any attempt to legitimate the child; or
(4) Provided support or medical care for the mother either during her pregnancy or during her hospitalization for the birth of the child, and the petitioner provides a certificate from the putative father registry stating that there is no entry on the putative father registry either acknowledging paternity of the child or indicating possible paternity of a child of the child's mother for a period beginning no later than two years immediately prior to the child's date of birth, then it shall be rebuttably presumed that the biological father who is not the legal father is not entitled to notice of the proceedings. Absent evidence rebutting the presumption, then no further inquiry or notice shall be required by the court and the court shall enter an order terminating the rights of such biological father to the child.
(h) When notice is given pursuant to subsection (e) of this Code section, it shall advise such biological father who is not the legal father that he loses all rights to the child and will not be entitled to object to the termination of his rights to the child unless, within 30 days of receipt of such notice, he files:
(1) A petition to legitimate the child pursuant to Code Section 19-7-22; and
(2) Notice of the filing of the petition to legitimate with the court in which the action under this Code section is pending.
(i) A biological father who is not the legal father loses all rights to the child and the court shall enter an order terminating all such father's rights to the child and such father may not thereafter object to the termination of his rights to the child if within 30 days from his receipt of the notice provided for in subsection (e) of this Code section he:
(1) Does not file a legitimation petition and give notice as required in subsection (h) of this Code section;
(2) Files a legitimation petition which is subsequently dismissed for failure to prosecute; or
(3) Files a legitimation petition and the action is subsequently concluded without a court order declaring a finding that he is the legal father of the child.
Putative Father Registry Registration Form
The Putative Father Registry is a list of the names of men who have acknowledged
paternity of a child by completing the Paternity Acknowledgment form or indicated
the possibility of paternity without acknowledging paternity of the child.
The Registry allows possible biological but not legal fathers to provide identifying
information about themselves, the mother, and the child so these registered men
can be notified about adoption proceedings.
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 registering before the child is born.
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.
The registration form is also available through this web site.
47 Trinity Avenue, SW,
Atlanta, Georgia 30334-5600
Voice: 404) 657-4121
FAX: (404) 651-9427
POLICY AND PRACTICE
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