Home
Ohio.gov
Search

Menu
Job & Family Services Putative Father Registry
The Putative Father Registry, Frequently Asked Questions
Topics

Who is a putative father?  

A man, including one under age eighteen, who may be a child's father and to whom all the following apply:

  • He is not married to the child's mother at the time of the child's conception or birth; 
  • He has not adopted the child; 
  • He has not acknowledged paternity of the child through a paternity affidavit or the child's birth certificate before the filing of an adoption petition for the child; and
  • He has not been determined, prior to the date a petition to adopt the child is filed, to have a parent-child relationship with the child by a court proceeding. 

What is the Ohio Putative Father Registry?  

The Ohio Putative Father Registry (OPFR) is a computerized database maintained by the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services. The OPFR allows a male to register if he believes he may have fathered a child and wants to be notified if the child is placed for adoption. 

The OPFR is routinely searched as part of the process to determine whether a child ican be legally adopted.  If a child is placed for adoption and a putative father is listed in the registry, the putative father will be notified via mail with the information of the agency that is attempting to move forward with the adoption.  The putative father may seek legal counsel regarding his parental rights.  The OPFR also helps interested parties identify if a potential putative father exists by submitting a request for a search to be conducted of the registry. 

Who should register with the Ohio Putative Father Registry? 

Any male who he may be the father of an unborn child, or a child born within the last 15 days, should register with the OPFR. This includes an adult or a minor who is less than 18 years old. 

Why should a male register with the Ohio Putative Father Registry?  

If the potential putative father does not register with the OPFR before or with 15 days after the birth of the child, the child could be legally adopted without the putative father's knowledge or consent. 

How does someone register with the Ohio Putative Father Registry?  

A potential putative father, or his representing attorney, may register online or in writing.  The online or written registration must be received by the OPFR no later than 15 days after the child's birth.

  • Email at OhioPFR@jfs.ohio.gov or United States Postal Services:
  •  
  • The Ohio Putative Father Registry 
  •   Ohio Department of Job and Family Service
  • P.O. Box 183204
  •  Columbus, Ohio 43218-3204  

    Overnight Delivery Address (USPS, Fed Ex, UPS):

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Ohio Putative Father Registry
4200 East Fifth Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43219  

What information must be provided to register in the OPFR?  

The putative father must provide the following: 

  • Complete name;
  • Current address;
  • Name of the mother;  and
  • If known the name, sex and birth date of the child. If the child’s date of birth is unknown, or the child has not yet been born, the putative father must provide an estimated date of birth.  

Additional information that may be provided (if known) includes: 

  • The putative father’s and/or mother’s Social Security number;
  • The mother’s maiden name (if applicable); and
  • The mother’s most recent address. 

How often should an individual register with the Ohio Putative Father Registry?

         A putative father should register his name for each child he believes he has fathered.  Individuals may register more than once.

Is there a fee to register with the Ohio Putative Father Registry?  

There is no fee to register with the putative father registry.   

Who can request a search of the Ohio Putative Father Registry?  

The mother of child, a public or private agency, or an attorney arranging a child's adoption may request a search of the OPFR to determine whether someone is registered as the child's putative father. If a public children services agency or an attorney representing a public children services agency is requesting the search, the date of Termination of Parental Rights Hearing or the date of the Permanent Custody Hearing must be provided on the request form. 

How does someone request a search of the Ohio Putative Father Registry?  

A requests to conduct a search of the OPFR may be submitted online or in writing.  Results of the search will be sent via United States Postal Service to the requesting party, and if registered, the putative father.  

Email at OhioPFR@jfs.ohio.gov or United States Postal Service at:

The Ohio Putative Father Registry
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
P.O. Box 183204
Columbus, Ohio 43218-3204

Overnight Delivery Address (USPS, Fed Ex, UPS):

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Ohio Putative Father Registry
4200 E. Fifth Avenue
Columbus, Ohio 43219  

What happens when a search of the Ohio Putative Father Registry locates a putative father?   

All search results are sent through United States Postal Service (USPS) from the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services to the requesting party and the putative father. The putative father is sent a notification letter of the search request along with the requesting party’s contact information. It is the putative father’s responsibility to contactthe party and/or obtain legal counsel. The party requesting the search will receive notification via USPS of the timely registered putative father for the child.

How does someone establish paternity?  

If an individual would like to begin the process of establishing paternity, he should obtain legal representation or contact his county child support enforcement agency. http://www.jfs.ohio.gov/county/County_Directory.pdf

How can a putative father obtain legal representation?

A putative father may contact an attorney referral service or search for an attorney at:  Ohio Legal Help http://ohiolegalhelp.org/

What happens if a registered putative father moves? How can he update his information?

It is the responsibility of the putative father to provide his new address to OPFR.  The individual should provide OPFR his updated address, complete name, and previous address through the following. 

Telephone: (888) 313-3100

Email:  OhioPFR@jfs.ohio.gov or United States Postal Service:

The Ohio Putative Father Registry
Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
P.O. Box 183204
Columbus, Ohio 43218-3204

Overnight Delivery Address (USPS, Fed Ex, UPS):

Ohio Department of Job and Family Services
Ohio Putative Father Registry
4200 E. Fifth Avenue
Columbus, OH 43219

 

Upon receipt of the new information by ODJFS, the putative father’s information will be updated in the OPFR database.

WHAT IF MY QUESTION WASN’T ANSWERED HERE?

For additional questions regarding the Ohio Putative Father Registry, please contact the OPFR toll-free at 1-888-313-3100 or via email at:  OhioPFR@jfs.ohio.gov.