LANSING — State Representative Robert L. Kosowski (D-Westland) introduced House Bill 4659 to create a “Responsible Father Registry” in order to streamline the process for claiming parental rights in cases where a child is born out of wedlock and does not have a mutually acknowledged father. The bill creates a registry for putative fathers to indicate interest in receiving notification from the court regarding legal proceedings about the child and requires courts search the registry when seeking to terminate parental rights or proceed with an adoption.

“This legislation will speed the adoption process by helping the courts locate fathers who may have an interest in their child and give courts the ability to ensure that parental rights are protected and prospective adoptive parents are not waiting for birth parents to appear after they have spent time with an adoptive child,” Kosowski said. “The intent is to streamline the process and provide interested fathers a simple way to ensure that they are party to any court proceedings surrounding their parental rights.”

House Bill 4659 is part of a bipartisan package of bills to address the adoption process in Michigan. Kosowski said, “These bills are designed to make adoption less complicated and speed the process. Too many interested parties are deterred by the difficulty of the adoption process. I am pleased to be joining my colleagues across the aisle in offering legislation which will encourage people to give children in need a permanent home.”

The bill was before the House Committee on Families, Children, and Seniors yesterday, where it was amended and voted out of committee to the House floor.

“I believe the changes made in committee have resulted in a better bill, which will create a system that works for all those involved.�I am hopeful that House leadership will schedule it for a vote and that my colleagues will join me in support of this important legislation,” Kosowski said.