A woman's husband is the legal father of any child she gives birth to even if they have been separated, even if they have been divorced for only a short period of time and even if he is not the actual biological father. The biological father, if he
is not married to the birth mother, he is called the putative father. The legal father,
biological father, or putative father can be considered to be the birth father. Accordingly, a child may have a biological father, a putative father, and a legal father and they can all be the same person or can be different men.
Each U.S. state has different laws concerning the parental rights of the birth father and there is no one law that applies across every state. There is also no one national putative father registry where every birth father
can register his name.
Termination, surrender or relinquishment of the birth mother and birth father parental rights ends the biological parent-child relationship. Once the relationship has been ended, the child is legally free to be adopted. Each U.S. state has laws relating to the
ending of the parental rights of the birth mother and birth father. You may want to check the laws of the state in which you reside, under the heading of termination, surrender or relinquishment of parental rights.
The laws of the state in which the birth mother terminates her rights and the laws of the birth father's state of residence will help define the birth
father's rights. Laws for Child Adoption will help you to find the requirements of any or all states.