Fatherhood is beautiful opportunity, filled with great blessings, as well as great responsibilities. Sometimes, however, the circumstances surrounding fatherhood are such that a rightful father is not recognized, and therefore may face some serious legal obstacles when attempting to interact with his child. While this can be a complex legal process, one avenue of recourse that fathers in Illinois do have is the Illinois Putative Father Registry.
The IPFR is specifically for men who may be the father of a child, but who have not established legal parentage and were not married to the child's mother prior to the child's birth. Fathers in this position may find that their child is offered up for adoption without their consent and against their wishes if they do not take legal steps to block this from happening. By registering as a putative father with IPFR, a father can take the first step toward keeping his child adopted away from him.
A father who does not register with the IPFR (or relevant registry in their state) or does not begin the legal process of establishing paternity within 30 days of the birth of the child may be subject to the court removing his parental rights, and ultimately seeing his child permanently adopted away from him, forfeiting his legal rights to a role in the child's life.
Establishing parentage is one of the first steps in seeking some type of custody or other legally recognized role in your child's life, and registering with the IPFR is one of the first steps to take if you are in such a position. The process of establishing parentage is not an easy one, and may involve numerous legal obstacles. If you wish to establish parentage, the guidance of an experienced attorney can help you protect your rights as you seek to be the best father you can be to the child you love.
Source: putativefather.org, "Illinois Putative Father Registry," accessed Sep. 23, 2016