(a) The department shall attempt to locate absent parents.
(b) The department is to serve as a registry for the receipt of information which directly relates to the identity or location of absent parents, to assist any governmental agency or department in locating an absent parent, to answer interstate inquiries concerning deserting parents, to coordinate and supervise any activity on a state level in search for an absent parent, and to develop guidelines for coordinating activities of any governmental department, board, commission, bureau, or agency in providing information necessary for location of absent parents and is to process all requests received from an initiating county or an initiating state which has adopted the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act or a law substantially similar to the Uniform Interstate Family Support Act, the Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act, or the Revised Uniform Reciprocal Enforcement of Support Act.
(c) In order to carry out the responsibilities imposed under this article, the department may request information and assistance from any governmental department, board, commission, bureau, or agency in locating the absent parents of children for whom the department has assignment of child support rights. The commissioner of human services or his duly authorized representative shall be entitled to have access to all pertinent information which is within the custody of any governmental department, board, commission, bureau, or agency, including, but not limited to, income tax information contained in any report or return required under Articles 1 through 6 of Chapter 7 of Title 48 by the Department of Revenue, including information from federal income tax returns required to be included as a part of any state report or return, which information but for this Code section would not be subject to disclosure pursuant to Code Section 48-7-60 and which is relative to such parents' location, income, or property, provided that any tax information secured from the federal government by the Department of Revenue, pursuant to the express provisions of Section 6103 of the Internal Revenue Code , may not be disclosed by that department pursuant to this subsection. Any person receiving any tax information or tax returns under the authority granted in this subsection shall be considered either an officer or employee as those terms are used in subsection (a) of Code Section 48-7-60 ; and, as such an officer or employee, any person receiving any tax information or returns under the authority of this Code section shall be subject to Code Section 48-7-61 , relating to the sanctions to be imposed for the unauthorized disclosure of confidential material.
(d)(1) There is established within the department a putative father registry. For purposes of this subsection, “biological father” and “legal father” shall have the meanings set out in Code Section 19-8-1 . The putative father registry shall record the name, address, and social security number of any person who claims to be the biological father but not the legal father of a child, and the date of entry of such information. Placement on the putative father registry shall not be used as an admission of guilt to any crime under Georgia law or used as evidence in any criminal prosecution under Georgia law.
(2) The putative father registry shall include two types of registrations:
(A) Persons who acknowledge paternity of a child or children before or after birth in a signed writing; and
(B) Persons who register to indicate the possibility of paternity without acknowledging paternity.
(3) Registrants shall be informed that this registration may be used to establish an obligation to support the child or children and that this registration shall be used to provide notice of adoption proceedings or proceedings to terminate the rights of a biological father who is not a legal father but that registration without further action does not enable the registrant to prevent an adoption or termination of his rights by objecting. All registrants shall be asked to provide information regarding changes in their addresses.
(4) A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity may be rescinded pursuant to the provisions of Code Section 19-7-46.1 .
(5) The department shall publicize the existence and availability of the putative father registry to the public, including but not limited to providing information disseminated in connection with certificates of live birth and through county boards of health. The department is authorized to prescribe the notices, forms, and educational materials to be used for entities that may offer voluntary paternity establishment services.
(6) The department shall keep the putative father registry as current as feasible, adding entries or information to the registry often enough that new registrations or new information regarding registrants, mothers, or children shall be added to the registry no later than two business days following receipt of the information from the registrant.
(e) The information which is obtained by the department shall only be available to:
(1) A governmental department, board, commission, bureau, agency, or political subdivision of any state for purposes of locating an absent parent or putative father to establish or to enforce his obligation of support, of enforcing a child custody determination, or of enforcing any state or federal law with respect to the unlawful taking or restraint of a child; or
(2) The department, a licensed child-placing agency, or a member in good standing of the State Bar of Georgia in response to a request for information for purposes of locating a biological father who is not the legal father to provide notice of adoption proceedings or a proceeding to terminate the rights of a biological father who is not a legal father. The request for information shall include, to the extent the information is known to the department, agency, or attorney, the name, address, and social security number of the mother of the child and of the alleged biological father who is not the legal father of the child and the child's name, sex, and date of birth. The department shall within two business days of its receipt of such a request for information issue a written certificate documenting its response.
(f) The department shall charge a fee of $10.00 for each certification regarding entries on the putative father registry or other information provided pursuant to paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of this Code section. The department shall waive the fee provided for in this subsection upon presentation of an affidavit of the petitioner's indigency. The department shall transmit the fees received pursuant to this subsection to the Office of the State Treasurer for deposit in the treasury of the state and shall provide an annual accounting of such fees to the Governor and the General Assembly.
FindLaw Codes are provided courtesy of Thomson Reuters Westlaw, the industry-leading online legal research system. For more detailed codes research information, including annotations and citations, please visit Westlaw.
FindLaw Codes may not reflect the most recent version of the law in your jurisdiction. Please verify the status of the code you are researching with the state legislature or via Westlaw before relying on it for your legal needs.