Wisconsin Department of Children and Families

Protecting Children, Strengthening Families, Building Communities

Inquiry of Paternal Interest Registry in Wisconsin

Information for Social Workers, Attorneys or Courts Searching for Possible Fathers


Declaration - is the process of declaring possible fatherhood of a child before the event of its adoption.

Inquiry - is the process of making a court inquiry to the Wisconsin Paternal Interest Registry.  It is to see if a man has registered as the possible father of a child before the event of its adoption.


Safe Haven (Relinquishment of an Infant)

When giving up a newborn through the Safe Haven program, the name and address of the parent and child is not required. The Paternity Registry is dependent upon the names of the individuals in order to match the mother and child to the possible father. With the absence of names, Safe Haven mothers nor their babies will be in the registry.

If your inquiry pertains to a Safe Haven baby, please print this document for your records. No additional contact is required.


Paternity Testing

Paternity Testing, if required, is completed in the county you reside in. Contact the local child support office directly.

The Inquiry Process

  1. All inquiries must be received by the Division of Safety and Permanence in writing by mail or by fax.  The Division will not confirm nor deny by telephone if a declaration of parental interest is on file.
  2. To prevent errors in reading handwritten text, please fill out the form online and print a copy.
  3. The Department will search its records and either provide a copy of the declaration form to the requesting party or will inform the requestor that no record exists. 
  4. The Division of Safety and Permanence will need at least one working day (24 hours) to respond by mail, or by fax if requested.

At this time, there is no charge for responding to inquiries.

How to Make an Inquiry

To prevent errors in reading handwritten text, please fill out the form online and print a copyHandwritten forms are not accepted.  At this time, there is no charge for responding to inquiries.

  1. Fill out the top half of the form with the child’s name, gender, birth date, and birthplace; the child’s mother’s name, age, and address; and the requestor’s name, the name of the county or agency, address and fax number.
  2. Submit a Court Inquiry on Declaration of Paternal Interest form to the Division of Safety and Permanence at the following address:

    Wisconsin Paternal Interest Registry
    DCF/DSP – Room E200
    P.O. Box 8916
    Madison WI 53708-8916
    Phone Number: (608) 422-7002
    Fax Number: (608)-266-0260

    DO NOT submit the form electronically.

  3. The Division of Safety and Permanence will need at least one working day (24 hours) to respond by mail, or by fax if requested.

Confidentiality

The Court Inquiry on Declaration of Paternal Interest is a confidential record. Information in the Registry may only be released to courts, attorneys, or social workers and may only be used in the child’s proceeding. The Department of Children and Families Bureau of Child Support or county child support agencies may not access information within the Paternal Interest Registry.

Penalties

Any person who intentionally obtains, uses, or discloses confidential information from the Paternal Interest Registry may be fined not more than $1000 or imprisoned for not more than 90 days or both.

Additional Resources