The Protecting Adoption Act of 2015 has just been introduced in the United States Congress. The Act is the result of the efforts of many organizations interested in promoting good adoption practices, including the American Academy of Adoption Attorneys. It is the purpose of the Act to establish a federal Responsible Father Registry.
34 States, including Virginia, have adopted Responsibly Father Registries, also known as Putative Father Registries. The purpose of these registries is to require a possible birth father to register to protect his rights with respect to a child he may have fathered. By providing for a means of protecting his rights, these laws also make it possible for adoptions to be more secure because they provide that failure to register means that birth mothers and adoptive parents do not have to track him down to serve him with notice in order for the adoption to be secure.
The federal legislation would establish a national data base and coordinate with state data bases. By doing this, it would guard against the possibility that the birth father and birth mother are in different states and that the wrong registry was searched.
Passage of this legislation will help to protect the rights of everyone involved in adoption in the United States.