A Father’s Right: National Putative Father Registry Bill

I know the timing on this is a bit strange — it being Mother’s Day weekend and all — but an article that appeared on Today’s Catholic Woman really caught my attention. “My Son the Matchmaker” is about a woman who got pregnant — then kept the baby’s father in the dark about his paternity.

The story has a happy ending — the couple winds up married and raising the child together. More often than not, such stories are not tied up so neatly. But it does raise an important issue: the right of a child to know both his mother and father.

Now, I understand why a woman in a crisis pregnancy might be tempted — after having sex with someone who seems to be an unsuitable father — to keep the truth from the man. However, this short-term decision can have lifelong consequences for the child, who needs a mother AND father to thrive.

NCFA recently published a notice about a piece of legislation that was recently introduced in the Senate: “Senator Landrieu (D, LA) Introduces Protecting Adoption and Promoting Responsible Fatherhood Act.”  This involves S939, a national putative (potential birth) father registry, which would facilitate securing the consent of birth fathers before the finalization of an adoption plan — something that is in the best interest of the child (who needs a permanent, stable family as quickly as possible) as well as potential adoptive parents (who are vulnerable if the adoption process is not conducted thoroughly and systematically).

Thank you, Senator Landrieu!

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