The Rights of Unmarried Parents - Kentucky

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Definitions

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 199.503; 625.065

'Putative father' means a person who may be a child's other parent but to whom any of the following apply:

  • The person is not married to the child's birth parent on or before the date the child is born.
  • The person has not established paternity of the child in a court or agency proceeding in this or another State before the filing of a petition for adoption of the child.
  • The person has not completed an acknowledgment of paternity affidavit before the filing of a petition for adoption of the child.

The putative other parent of a child shall be made a party and brought before the circuit court in the same manner as any other party to an involuntary termination action if one of the following conditions exists:

  • The person is known and voluntarily identified by the birth parent in an affidavit.
  • The person has registered with the putative father registry as a putative other parent prior to the birth of the child, or if they did not have notice prior to the birth of the child, within 30 days after the birth of the child.
  • The person has caused their name to be affixed to the birth certificate of the child.
  • The person has commenced a judicial proceeding claiming parental rights.
  • The person has contributed financially to the support of the child, either by paying the medical or hospital bills associated with the birth of the child or financially contributing to the child's support.
  • The person has married the birth parent of the child or has lived openly or is living openly with the child or the person designated on the birth certificate as the birth parent of the child.

Any person to whom none of the above conditions apply shall be deemed to have no parental rights to the child in question.

Use of Parentage Registries

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.503

The Cabinet for Health and Family Services shall establish a putative father registry and promulgate administrative regulations to administer the registry in accordance with this section. A putative other parent may register with the putative father registry by providing the following information to the cabinet:

  • The other parent's name, date of birth, place of birth, place of residence, and an address at which they may receive notice of the filing of a petition for adoption
  • The birth parent's name, date of birth, place of birth, place of residence, and mailing address, if known
  • Any other information needed by the registry that is known to the other parent

A putative other parent who registers under this section is responsible for the following:

  • Verifying with the cabinet the accuracy of the registration
  • Submitting to the cabinet an amended registration each time the information supplied by the putative other parent changes

Alternate Means to Establish Parentage

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 406.021; 406.091; 406.111

Parentage may be determined upon the complaint of the birth parent, putative other parent, child, person, or agency substantially contributing to the support of the child.

Parentage may be determined by the district court when the parents of the child do either of the following:

  • Submit affidavits in which the birth parent states the name and Social Security number of the child's other parent, and they admit parentage of the child
  • Give testimony before the district court in which the birth parent states the name and Social Security number of the child's other parent, and they admit parentage of the child

Voluntary acknowledgment of parentage pursuant to § 213.046 shall create a rebuttable presumption of parentage.

In a contested parentage case, the child and all other parties shall submit to genetic testing upon a request of any such party which shall be supported by a sworn statement of the party, except for good cause. Genetic test results are admissible and shall be weighed along with other evidence of the alleged other parent's parentage.

If the court finds that the conclusions of all the experts, as supported by the evidence based upon the tests, are that the alleged other parent is not the genetic parent of the child, the question of parentage shall be resolved accordingly. If the court finds that the statistical probability of parentage equals or exceeds 99 percent, there is a rebuttable presumption of parentage.

Required Information

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.503

The cabinet shall maintain the following information in the putative father registry:

  • The putative other parent's name, date of birth, place of birth, place of residence, and an address at which they may be served with notice of the filing of a petition for adoption
  • The birth parent's name, date of birth, place of birth, place of residence, and mailing address, if known
  • The child's name, date of birth, and place of birth, if known
  • The date that the cabinet receives a putative other parent's registration
  • The name of any attorney or agency that requests the cabinet to search the registry and the date of the request
  • Any other information that the cabinet determines is necessary to access the information in the registry

If a child's birth parent provides the name of a potential other parent and their place of residence and mailing address, if known, to the cabinet, the cabinet shall, to the best of its ability, notify the potential putative other parent to inform them of their opportunity to register with the putative father registry.

The cabinet shall store the registry's data so that it is accessible under any of the following:

  • The putative other parent's name
  • The birth parent's name
  • The child's name

Revocation of Claim to Parentage

Citation: Rev. Stat. § 199.503

A putative other parent who has registered with the putative father registry may revoke a registration at any time.

Access to Information

Citation: Rev. Stat. §§ 199.503; 406.035

The cabinet shall furnish a certified copy of a putative other parent's registration form upon written request by any of the following:

  • A putative other parent
  • A birth parent
  • A child
  • Any party or attorney of record in a pending adoption
  • An attorney who represents any of the following:
    • Prospective adoptive parents
    • Petitioners in an adoption
    • A birth parent or a putative other parent
    • A child-placing agency
  • A licensed child-placing agency that represents any of the following:
    • Prospective adoptive parents
    • Petitioners in an adoption
    • A birth parent or a putative other parent
  • A court that presides over a pending adoption

The cabinet may release the certified copy of the registration form to a putative other parent, a birth parent, or a child only if the information contained in the registration form names the requesting person.

If parentage has been determined under the provisions § of 406.021(1) or (2), the court shall make a written order of parentage. Information concerning this action shall not be published or be open for public inspection, including when the cabinet determines reasonable evidence of domestic violence or child abuse if the disclosure of the information could be harmful to the custodial parent or the child of the parent.

Such orders are to be kept separately and shall not be open for public inspection except that they may be inspected by any of the following:

  • Employees of government agencies in the performance of their duties
  • All law enforcement agencies, including county attorneys, commonwealth attorneys, district and circuit judges, and anyone else under order of the court expressly permitting inspection
  • Either party to an action or attorneys of a party to an action