In 2006, Virginia joined a growing number of states in creating a Putative Father Registry. There has been a bill before congress for quite some time which would create a National Putative Father Registry, but to date, it has not been enacted.
In Virginia Adoption Law, birth fathers have full parental rights. Consequently, a birth mother has no legal right to conceal the identity of the birth father. They must either consent to the adoption in writing or be served with notice of the adoption.
Sometimes a birth mother does not know the full identity of the birth father. However, it is also important to understand that a birth mother may be reluctant to identify the birth father because of various emotions, such as shame or fear, and may simply deny knowing his identity.
In Virginia, fathers and mothers have the same legal rights, and a birthfather has the same rights as a birthmother. However, these rights can greatly diminish if the birthfather has not played an active role in the child's life.