5239 Paternity or Putative Father


  1. Paternity is the relationship between a father and his child. Establishing paternity is the process of making this a legal relationship. Paternity is established through marriage, signing the Acknowledgment of Paternity or Court Order.  An acknowledgment of paternity creates presumption of paternity.
  2. Establishing paternity is the process of determining a legal relationship and until this occurs; putative family are not defined as a relative and would be recognized as non-related kin placement. 
  3. A Presumed Father is the individual the law presumes, until shown otherwise, to be the legal father of a child. This may not be the actual biological father of the child. It is possible to have multiple presumed fathers. Kansas Law presumes a man is the father of a child if:
    1. The child was born during the marriage or within 300 days after the filing of a divorce decree/annulment;
    2. He attempts to marry and voidable marriages still count to create a presumption.  A void marriage also creates a presumption as long as the child was born within 300 days from the end of cohabitation;
    3. He notoriously or in writing recognizes paternity of the child;
    4. Genetic tests show probably greater than 97% that he is the father; and/or
    5. He is obligated to support the child by court order; K.S.A. 23-2208
  4. The Kansas Putative Father Registry was established pursuant to K.S.A. 23-36,201(a)(7) in 1994. This statute directs that the Registry shall be kept by the Secretary of the Department for Children and Families. The statute does not require that the Registry be searched prior to proceeding with an adoption (although anyone may make an inquiry to see if someone is registered). It also does not require DCF to take any action other than to maintain the Registry. DCF is not responsible for ensuring information is accurate or current. DCF is under no obligation to notify a registrant if an inquiry is made. Finally, registering with the Putative Father Registry subjects a putative father to the jurisdiction of the state if he is a non-resident. To add a father to the registry please contact Child Services Support and they will direct you.