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South Carolina Department of Social Services

Susan Alford, State Director

Responsible Father Registry

What is the Responsible Father Registry?

The purpose of the Responsible Father Registry is to provide notice to unmarried biological fathers who affirmatively assume responsibility for children they may have fathered by registering with the Responsible Father Registry.

Claims may be filed with the Responsible Father Registry by a male who is eighteen years of age or older and who is not married to the biological mother of a child of whom he is or claims to be the natural father.

To be approved a claim of paternity:

  1. Must be filed only by the registrant father. No other person may file the claim on behalf of the registrant father.
  2. May be filed before or after the birth of the child.
  3. Must be filed before the date of a petition for termination of parental rights petition has been filed and before an adoption petition has been filed. A claim filed after the date of termination of parental rights petition or after the date of the adoption petition is void.
  4. Must include:
    • The registrant father’s name, address and date of birth;
    • The name of the mother of the child and if known the mother’s address and date of birth;
    • If known, the child’s name, place of birth and date of birth;
    • If known, the date, county and state of conception of the child;
    • The date the claim is filed
  5. Must be signed by the registrant father.

A registrant father may at any time revoke a claim of paternity and shall file the revocation with the South Carolina Department of Social Services Responsible Father Registry in the manner prescribed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services. The filing of such a revocation of claim of paternity with the South Carolina Department of Social Services Responsible Father Registry makes the prior claim of paternity filed by the registrant null and void.

The South Carolina Department of Social Services will issue a Certificate to the Registrant Father verifying a claim of paternity, a revocation or a change of address has been filed.

Notice: THE REGISTRANT FATHER MUST NOTIFY THE RESPONSIBLE FATHER REGISTRY OF ANY CHANGE OF ADDRESS. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL BE DEEMED TO BE A WAIVER OF A RIGHT TO NOTICE OR ANY OTHER RIGHT TO WHICH THE REGISTRANT FATHER MAY BE ENTITLED AS A RESULT OF FILING A CLAIM OF PATERNITY.