(a) The department of children's services shall establish a putative father registry, which shall be maintained by the department's adoptions unit in the department's state office in Nashville.
(b) The registrar of the division of vital records of the department of health shall notify the department's registry of all orders of parentage received by the registrar pursuant to § 36-2-311, or of any acknowledgements of parentage received by the registrar pursuant to § 68-3-203(g), § 68-3-302 or § 68-3-305(b), on a form or by any electronic information exchange method agreed upon by the commissioners of children's services and health. Such notification shall occur on a daily basis in order to update the putative father registry on a current basis.
(c) The registry shall contain the names of the persons listed in subdivision (e)(3) and any other information required in subdivisions (e)(1)-(3).
(d) (1) Those persons contained on the registry shall be given notice by the petitioners in proceedings for the adoption of a child or for the termination of parental rights involving a child, and they shall be necessary parties to the proceedings, and, except as they may waive their rights under subsection (f), must have their parental rights to the child terminated prior to entry of an adoption order, as may be required pursuant to chapter 1, part 1, of this title, unless they have executed a surrender, waiver of interest, or parental consent as provided in chapter 1, part 1 of this title.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to eliminate the requirement to terminate the parental rights of any person if such person meets all of the requirements of a legal or biological parent pursuant to § 36-1-117, even if such person is not registered.
(e) The registry shall contain the names of the following persons:
(1) Those persons, their addresses, if available, the name of the child, and the name of the biological mother of the child, if available, for whom the registrar of the division of vital records has a record that an order of parentage has been entered involving any person and those persons for whom the registrar has a record of any acknowledgement of parentage executed under the provisions of § 68-3-203(g), § 68-3-302 or § 68-3-305(b), and their addresses, if available, the name of the child, and the name of the biological mother of the child appearing on the acknowledgment;
(2) Those persons who have filed with the registry a certified copy of a court order from this state or any other state or territory of the United States or any other country that adjudicates such person to be a father of a child born out of wedlock, and those persons who have filed with the registry a copy of a sworn acknowledgement of parentage executed pursuant to the law of this state or pursuant to the law of any other state or territory or any other country; or
(3) Those persons who have filed only a written notice of intent to claim paternity of a child with the putative father registry either prior to, or within thirty (30) days after, the birth of such child.
(f) (1) Those persons who have filed only a written notice of intent to claim parentage of a child pursuant to subdivisions (e)(2) and (3) shall include with such notice of such person's name, current address and current telephone number, if any, and, if filed under subdivision (e)(3), shall include the name of the child, if known, for whom such person claims parentage and the name of the child's biological mother and the current legal or physical custodian, and their address and telephone number, if known, any other information that may identify the child and the child's whereabouts. This information shall be maintained on the registry.
(2) The person filing written notice of intent to claim parentage pursuant to subdivision (e)(3) shall be responsible for notifying the registry of any change of address and telephone number within ten (10) days of that change. Failure to do so within the ten-day period shall constitute a waiver of any right to notice of any proceedings for the adoption of the child for whom the person seeks to claim parentage, unless such person is otherwise entitled to notice pursuant to § 36-1-117(b) or (c).
(g) A person who has filed a notice of intent to claim parentage under subdivision (e)(3) may revoke the notice at any time in writing to the registry, and upon receipt of such notification by the registry, the notice of intent to claim parentage shall be deemed a nullity as of the date it is filed.
(h) Any notice of intent to claim parentage filed under subsection (e), whether revoked or still in effect, may be introduced in evidence by any other party, other than the person who filed such notice, in any proceeding in which the parentage of a child may be relevant, including proceedings seeking payment of child support, medical payments on behalf of the child, or any other payments, or that may involve the payment of damages involved in connection with such parentage.
(i) Any person listed on the registry pursuant to subdivisions (e)(1)-(3) by the department shall be notified by the department, based upon the information filed with the registry, of any proceedings for the adoption of any child or the termination of parental rights of any child of which the department's state office adoption unit has actual notice of filing and for whom the registrant has made a claim of parentage, unless the person has previously executed an unrevoked surrender of the child or waiver of interest pursuant to § 36-1-111, or has consented to the child's adoption in accordance with chapter 1, part 1, of this title, or unless the person's parental rights have been terminated by court action.
(j) A person listed on the registry and entitled to notice of pending adoption or termination proceedings under subdivision (e)(3) shall have thirty (30) days from the receipt of such notice to file a complaint for parentage or to intervene in the adoption proceedings or termination of parental rights proceedings for the purpose of establishing a claim to parentage of the child or to present a defense to the termination or adoption case. The failure of such person to file a petition to intervene shall be sufficient cause for the court where the adoption proceedings or termination proceedings are pending to terminate the parental rights, if any, of such person pursuant to § 36-1-113(g)(9)(A)(vi).
(k) At the time a person files a written notice of intent to claim paternity under subsection (e), the registry shall notify such person of the provisions of §§ 68-11-255, 36-1-142, 36-1-102(1)(A)(v), and 37-2-402(1)(A)(v), concerning abandoned infants and shall inform such person that it is the duty of such person to make appropriate inquiries concerning any possibly relevant birth.
Acts 1997, ch. 477, § 1; 2001, ch. 388, § 6.