Maryland Adoption Laws, pg 5

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Putative Fathers

Does State have a Putative Father Registry:

No

Legal definition of "father"
Est. and Trusts § 1-208

A child born to parents who have not participated in a marriage ceremony with each other shall be considered to be the child of his or her mother.

A child born to parents who have not participated in a marriage ceremony with each other shall be considered to be the child of his or her father only if the father:

  • Has been judicially determined to be the father in an action brought under the statutes relating to paternity proceedings
  • Has acknowledged himself, in writing, to be the father
  • Has openly and notoriously recognized the child to be his child
  • Has subsequently married the mother and has acknowledged himself, orally or in writing, to be the father

Alternate means to establish paternity
Family Law § 5-1028

An unmarried father and mother shall be provided an opportunity to execute an affidavit of parentage in the manner provided under § 4-208 of the Health - General Article. The affidavit shall be completed on a standardized form developed by the department.

An executed affidavit of parentage constitutes a legal finding of paternity.

Required Information
Family Law § 5-1028(c)

The completed affidavit of parentage form shall contain:

  • A statement that the affidavit is a legal document and constitutes a legal finding of paternity
  • The full name and the place and date of birth of the child
  • The full name of the attesting father of the child
  • The full name of the attesting mother of the child
  • The signatures of the father and the mother of the child attesting, under penalty of perjury, that the information provided on the affidavit is true and correct
  • A statement by the mother consenting to the assertion of paternity and acknowledging that her cosignatory is the only possible father
  • A statement by the father that he is the natural father of the child
  • The Social Security numbers provided by each of the parents

Before completing an affidavit of parentage form, the unmarried mother and the father shall be advised orally and in writing of the legal consequences of executing the affidavit and of the benefit of seeking legal counsel.

Revocation of claim to paternity
Family Law § 5-1028

An executed affidavit of parentage is subject to the right of any signatory to rescind the affidavit:

  • In writing within 60 days after execution of the affidavit
  • In a judicial proceeding relating to the child in which the signatory is a party and that occurs before the expiration of the 60-day period
After the expiration of the 60-day period, an executed affidavit of parentage may be challenged in court only on the basis of fraud, duress, or material mistake of fact, with the burden of proof on the challenger. The legal responsibilities of any signatory arising from the affidavit, including child support obligations, may not be suspended during the challenge, except for good cause shown.

Access to information

This issue is not addressed in the statutes reviewed.

Credits: Child Welfare Information Gateway (http://www.childwelfare.gov)

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