Termination Of Parental Rights In Probate Court
Alleged or Putative Father
||The terms alleged or putative father are
interchangeable. They are used to refer to a man who had been named by the mother as the
father of the child, but for whom there has been no acknowledgement of paternity.
|Naming of Putative Father on Petition
||CONN. GEN. STAT. §45a-715(e), provides that a Petition for
Termination of Parental Rights filed with respect to a child born out of wedlock
"...shall state whether there is a putative father to whom notice shall be given
under subdivision (2) of subsection (b) of Section 45a-716."
under CONN. GEN. STAT. §45a-716(b), require notice to a putative father, provided at the
time of the filing of the petition:
(a)he has been adjudicated the father by a court of competent jurisdiction, or
(b)he has acknowledged paternity in writing on a form provided in superior court, or
(c)he has contributed regularly to support of the child, or
(d)his name appears on the birth certificate, or
(e)he has filed a claim for paternity in Probate Court as provided under CONN. GEN.
Note: This statute sets forth a minimum standard for notice to
putative fathers. Many courts go beyond this and require notice to putative fathers not
named on the child's birth certificate, not acknowledged or adjudicated, etc.
|Affidavit Concerning Paternity
||In order to deal with an unknown, unnamed, or unacknowledged
father, most Probate Courts insist the mother file an affidavit (signed statement under
oath) concerning paternity. If she knows the name of the putative father, she should give
a brief statement concerning the relationship and other information such as the father's
knowledge of her pregnancy, whether he has visited, supported her or the child, and
whether his name appears on the child's birth record.
The court can then appoint
counsel for the putative father and serve notice of the hearing (lack of notice to a
parent may give a parent a right to take an appeal). If she does not know the identity of
the father, she should provide a statement to that effect and provide the court with an
In the absence of sufficient evidence to support a determination as to who the father
is, the court may make a finding that mother is sole parent and legal guardian. This is
desirable as it does not leave a loop hole for overturning a decree.
Note: If no address is available for a putative father, but in the
course of the study, the Department discovers an address, this information should be
provided to the court.
Connecticut Department of Children and Families Issued:
March 1, 1994