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A putative father, with some variations in specific language, generally means a man whose legal relationship to a child has not been established but who is alleged to be or claims that he may be the biological father of a child who is born to a woman to whom he is not married at the time of the child's birth.[1][2][3][4]

United StatesEdit

There is no standard definition for the word "father" in statutes across the United States. Five States (as of 2010, Arizona, Nebraska, New York, North Carolina, and Virginia[citation needed]) as well as the District of Columbia, American Samoa, and the U.S. Virgin Islands, provide no legal definition for the term at all.[1] Many states, however, have definitions for various categories of unwed fathers, with the term "putative father" being defined by statute in 13 States (as of 2017, these being Alabama[5]Arkansas, Florida, Indiana, Iowa, Maine, Montana, Nevada, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, West Virginia, and Wyoming[citation needed]).

See alsoEdit


  1. ^ a b Child Welfare Information Gateway (30 June 2010). "The Rights of Unmarried Fathers". U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
  2. ^ Bouvier, John (1856). "Constitution and Laws of the United States". Law Dictionary. The Free Dictionary.
  3. ^ "Putative Father Law & Legal Definition". U.S. Legal .com.
  4. ^ Legal Dictionary, Durhaime. "Putative Father Definition".
  5. ^,