§ 15-7-26. Notice to natural father.
(a) If the court, after examination, determines that the natural father has not joined in a petition either for the termination of parental rights or a petition for adoption or has not executed a waiver, then the court shall cause inquiry to be made of the mother, as the court in its discretion shall deem appropriate.
(b)(1) If, after the inquiry, the natural father is identified to the satisfaction of the court, he shall be given notice in accordance with § 15-7-8 or in any other manner that the court may direct. Proof of giving the notice shall be filed with the court before a petition for termination of parental rights or a petition for adoption is granted. If the natural father fails to appear, or if appearing fails to claim any rights to the child, the court shall enter an order terminating his rights with reference to the child. If the natural father, or a man representing himself to be the natural father, claims rights to the child, the court shall proceed to determine his rights.
(2) If, after the inquiry, the court is able to identify the natural father but his whereabouts are unknown, or if the court is unable to identify the natural father, the court, on the basis of all information available, shall determine whether there is a reasonable probability that publication of notice of the proceeding will lead to the ascertainment of his identity or whereabouts. If so, the court may order publication in accordance with § 15-7-9.
(P.L. 1975, ch. 274, § 1; P.L. 1980, ch. 364, § 2; P.L. 1996, ch. 200, § 1; P.L. 2017, ch. 451, § 6.)