Idaho's Putative Father Registry Statute: Is There Really an Opportunity Interest for Putative Fathers?

Journal Name
Idaho Law Review
Journal Volume
Page Count
Year Published
Author (Individual)
Briseno, J. A.
Resource Type
Journal Article
The rights of unwed and unknown fathers are the focus of this article. Unwed fathers' rights are pressing issues as the number of out-of-wedlock births has increased over the past 3 decades. The expanding population of unwed fathers gives rise to the potential for problems in the adoption of illegitimate children and indicates a need to have laws which protect the interests of these children. The purpose of the unwed father registry statutes is to help alleviate potential problems in the adoption of children born out of marriage. Problem adoptions and the limited rights of unwed fathers is what led the United States Supreme Court to address these issues. The second part of this article reviews the evolution of the rights of unwed fathers to voice objections in the relinquishment of their illegitimate children. It also reviews 2 cases and how States rushed to establish unwed father registry statutes and notice statutes to prevent these types of cases from occurring in the future. In part 3, the article analyzes Idaho's unwed father registry statute, how it relates to other jurisdictions, the burdens placed on unwed fathers, and whether Idaho's statute is sufficient protection for unwed fathers. The final section proposes a plan for interstate cooperation for searching unwed father registries, as well as incorporating an impossibility exception into the Idaho statute. Numerous references.

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