The Rights of Unmarried Parents - Alabama

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Definitions

Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-17-102; 26-17-204

An 'acknowledged father' is a person who has established a parent-child relationship. An 'adjudicated father' is a person who has been adjudicated by a court to be the parent of a child. An 'alleged father' is a person who alleges to be the genetic parent or a possible genetic parent of a child but whose parentage has not been determined. A 'presumed father' is a person who is recognized as the parent of a child until that status is rebutted or confirmed in a judicial proceeding. A 'putative father' is the alleged or reputed parent.

A person is presumed to be the other parent of a child if any of the following apply:

  • The child's parents are married to each other and the child is born during the marriage.
  • The child's parents are or have been married to each other and the child is born during the marriage or within 300 days after the marriage is terminated.
  • Before the child's birth, the child's parents attempted to marry each other, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid.
  • After the child's birth, the child's parents married or attempted to marry each other, although the attempted marriage is or could be declared invalid, and any of the following apply:
    • The person's written acknowledgment of parentage has been filed with the appropriate court or the Office of Vital Statistics.
    • With their consent, the person is named as the child's parent on the child's birth certificate.
    • The person is otherwise obligated to support the child either under a written voluntary promise or by court order.
  • While the child is a minor, the person receives the child into their home or otherwise openly holds out the child as their natural child or otherwise provides emotional and financial support for the child.
  • They acknowledge parentage of the child in a writing filed in accordance with provisions of the legitimation statute.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10C-1

The Department of Human Resources shall establish a putative father registry that shall record the name, Social Security number, date of birth, and address of the following:

  • Any person adjudicated by a court of this State to be the parent of a child born out of wedlock
  • Any person who has filed with the registry, before or after the birth of the child born out of wedlock, a notice of intent to claim parentage of the child that includes the information required by statute
  • Any person adjudicated by a court of another State or territory of the United States to be the parent of a child born out of wedlock, when 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 parentage pursuant to §§ 26-11-1 through 26-11-3

This subsection shall be the exclusive procedure available for any person who claims to be the other parent of a child born out of wedlock on or after January 1, 1997, to entitle that person to notice of and the opportunity to contest any adoption proceeding filed and pending on or after January 1, 1997.

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Ala. Code §§ 26-11-2; 26-17-201; 26-17-631

The other parent of a nonmarital child may seek to legitimate the child and render the child capable of inheriting their estate by filing a notice of declaration of legitimation in writing attested by two witnesses; setting forth the name of the child, supposed age, and the name of birth parent; and stating that they thereby recognize their parentage of the child, making the child capable of inheriting the parent's estate, real and personal, as if born in wedlock.

The parent-child relationship may be established between a person and a child by any of the following:

  • An unrebutted presumption of the person's parentage of the child under § 26-17-204
  • An effective acknowledgment of parentage by the person under article 3
  • An adjudication of the person's parentage

The parentage of a child having a presumed, acknowledged, or adjudicated parent may be disproved only by admissible results of genetic testing excluding that person as the child's parent or identifying another person as the child's parent.

Required Information

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10C-1

A person filing a notice of intent to claim parentage of a child or an acknowledgment of parentage with the putative father registry shall include all the following:

  • The other parent's name, Social Security number, date of birth, and current address
  • The birth parent's name and all other names known to the putative other parent that have been used by the birth parent, Social Security number, date of birth, and address, if known
  • The other parent's current income and financial information with a child support obligation income statement/affidavit form to be prescribed by regulations of the department
  • The child's name and place of birth, if known
  • The possible date or dates of sexual intercourse

The person filing shall notify the registry of any change of address pursuant to the procedures prescribed by regulation of the department. The registration must be on a form prescribed by the department, signed by the putative other parent, and notarized.

The putative other parent may file their notice of intent to claim parentage prior to the birth of the child.

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10C-1(d)

A person who has filed a notice of intent to claim parentage may at any time revoke a notice of intent to claim parentage previously filed, and, upon receipt of the notification by the registry, the revoked notice of intent to claim parentage shall be deemed null and void.

Access to Information

Citation: Ala. Code § 26-10C-1(f)

The Department of Human Resources shall, upon request, provide the names and addresses of persons listed with the registry to any court. The information shall not be divulged to any other person except upon order of a court for good cause shown. The department, after receiving notice pursuant to § 26-10A-17 of the pendency of any adoption proceeding wherein the proposed adopted person is a child born within 300 days of the date or dates of sexual intercourse listed in the registry and to the same birth parent listed in the registry, immediately shall send a copy of the notice of intent to claim parentage to the court handling the adoption.

When the court handling the adoption receives said notice of the intent to claim parentage, the court shall forthwith give notice of the pendency of the adoption proceeding to the putative other parent and notify the birth parent that the putative other parent has registered in conformity with the putative father registry.