F. Paternity Registry

The VSU maintains a paternity registry. A man who wants to be notified of a proceeding for the adoption or the termination of parental rights regarding a child he may have fathered must register before the birth of the child or not later than the 31st day after the child's birth. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.402(a). The registrant has the responsibility of keeping his information current with the bureau. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.402(c). A man who has filed with the paternity registry within the requisite time frame is entitled to be served with notice of a suit involving the child. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.403. Registering with the paternity registry also establishes a basis for personal jurisdiction of a person who is not a Texas resident. Tex. Fam. Code § 159.201(a)(7) and Tex. Fam. Code § 160.604.

If no father-child relationship can be established or if a father-child relationship has been established, but the father has not been served with citation and has not signed a relinquishment of parental rights with regard to the child, and DFPS seeks termination of parental rights or adoption, DFPS must obtain a certificate of the results of a search of the paternity registry. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.421 and Tex. Fam. Code §160.422(d). If DFPS has reason to believe that conception or birth of the child have may occurred in another state, DFPS must obtain a certificate from paternity or putative father registry of that state. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.421. DFPS must file the certificate of the results of a search of the registry with the court before a proceeding for the adoption of or termination of parental rights regarding a child may be concluded. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.422(c).

The VSU shall furnish a certificate of the results of a search of the registry on request by an individual, a court, or an agency listed in Tex. Fam. Code § 160.412(b). The certificate of results of the search must be signed on behalf of the unit and state that a search has been made of the registry and the registration containing the information required to identify the registrant has been found and attached to the certificate or has not been found. Tex. Fam. Code § 160.422(a)-(b).