In some states, you have to pay sales tax on chocolate, but not on licorice. Licorice contains flour, so it’s a food, and not taxable in those states. In other states, you don’t pay sales tax on a bagel… unless the bakery slices it for you. Then you pay the tax.

Laws are complicated. So we shouldn’t be surprised that there are some interesting laws around adoption.

We’ve already told you that a woman’s husband is always the legal father of her child in Arkansas. What about an unmarried woman, though? Her child might have a putative father.

What’s a putative father?

“Putative” means “assumed” or “alleged.” A putative father is therefore someone assumed to be the father of the child.

This does not include the birth mother’s husband, who is the legal father of the child. It doesn’t even include the birth mother’s boyfriend, in law.

In Arkansas, there is a Putative Father Register, where a man may go and make a legal claim that he is the father of a child whose mother is not his wife. If a man registers in this way, he should be notified of an adoption agreement involving the child he has claimed. He can object to that adoption agreement.

He does not have to be listed as the father on the child’s birth certificate in order to have this right.

Can he stop an adoption?

A registered father can object to an adoption. However, he may not be able to stop the adoption process. It depends on a number of factors. For example, he may need to prove his claim of paternity if the mother does not agree with his claim. He may have to prove his fitness as a father if he sues for custody of the child.

But a birth mother does not have to discuss her decisions about her baby with the father of her child if he does not register as the putative father.

Adoption is wonderful, but it can also be complicated. This is why it’s a good idea to have an adoption attorney to help you through the process.

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