In the State of Georgia, a father has no legal rights related to their child unless the father is married to the mother of the child or legitimizes the child. Signing the birth certificate alone does NOT provide a father any legal rights related to their child. This means the child loses many rights to inherit from his father and vice versa. Further, the father does not have a legal right to visitation with the child and the father cannot petition the court for custody. In order to establish legal rights to the child, the father must marry the mother, complete an Acknowledgment of Legitimation form with the mother’s consent before the child’s first birthday, or petition the court to legitimate the child. Notwithstanding the above, a father of an illegitimate child may still be responsible to provide child support for the child’s benefit.
The above is for general information only and is not legal advice. Please contact a family law attorney for legal advice in your specific case.
Shalamar J. Parham, Atlanta Divorce Attorney