DCF: 48-8-4

Policy Manual
Termination Of Parental Rights In Probate Court

Alleged or Putative Father

Definition The terms alleged or putative father are interchangeable. They are used to refer to a man who had been named by the mother as the father of the child, but for whom there has been no acknowledgement of paternity.
Naming of Putative Father on Petition CONN. GEN. STAT. 45a-715(e), provides that a Petition for Termination of Parental Rights filed with respect to a child born out of wedlock "...shall state whether there is a putative father to whom notice shall be given under subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of Section 45a-716."

Notice requirements under CONN. GEN. STAT. 45a-716(b), require notice to a putative father, provided at the time of the filing of the petition:

(a)he has been adjudicated the father by a court of competent jurisdiction, or

(b)he has acknowledged paternity in writing on a form provided in superior court, or

(c)he has contributed regularly to support of the child, or

(d)his name appears on the birth certificate, or

(e)he has filed a claim for paternity in Probate Court as provided under CONN. GEN. STAT. 46b-172a.

Note: This statute sets forth a minimum standard for notice to putative fathers. Many courts go beyond this and require notice to putative fathers not named on the child's birth certificate, not acknowledged or adjudicated, etc.

Affidavit Concerning Paternity In order to deal with an unknown, unnamed, or unacknowledged father, most Probate Courts insist the mother file an affidavit (signed statement under oath) concerning paternity. If she knows the name of the putative father, she should give a brief statement concerning the relationship and other information such as the father's knowledge of her pregnancy, whether he has visited, supported her or the child, and whether his name appears on the child's birth record.

The court can then appoint counsel for the putative father and serve notice of the hearing (lack of notice to a parent may give a parent a right to take an appeal). If she does not know the identity of the father, she should provide a statement to that effect and provide the court with an explanation.

In the absence of sufficient evidence to support a determination as to who the father is, the court may make a finding that mother is sole parent and legal guardian. This is desirable as it does not leave a loop hole for overturning a decree.

Note: If no address is available for a putative father, but in the course of the study, the Department discovers an address, this information should be provided to the court.

Connecticut Department of Children and Families Issued: March 1, 1994

Content Last Modified on 9/19/2007 8:31:20 AM