When unwed parents have a child in the state of Georgia, there are necessary steps required to establish paternity, and this process often begins in the hospital where both parents sign a Paternity Acknowledgement (PA) form. Parents may also sign the form at the State Office of Vital Records in Atlanta or the Vital Records Office in the county where the child was born. In either case, a notary must be present to witness the signatures. The process of paternity acknowledgment solidifies the relationship between a father and child and provides the child with certain benefits. The Department of Human Services and the Division of Child Support Services lists the following benefits:
- Two parents with whom the child can establish an emotional bond
- Two parents that will share legal responsibility to financially support the child
- Two parents whose names will appear on the birth certificate
- The ability of the child to receive social security and other benefits from the father
To better understand, signing a PA form is voluntary. In other words, a father shouldn’t sign the form unless he is confident that he is the biological father of the child. By doing so, it is presumed (by law) that this is true, and the father’s name will appear on the child’s birth certificate. It is also presumed that the father is accepting responsibility to provide child support and medical insurance until the child is 18 years old. On the other hand, by signing the PA form, a father must be notified of any adoption proceeding or any attempt at terminating the rights of the biological father.
Order of Legitimation
Though the paternity acknowledgement program was designed to make the process of establishing paternity simpler, a father in Georgia must also obtain an order of legitimation so that he can pursue custody and visitation. To be clear, even if an unmarried father’s name is on the child’s birth certificate, he does not have legal rights to the child without an order of legitimation.
Determining Your Rights As A Father in Conyers, Georgia
Whether you are a father interested in proving paternity of a child, or you are seeking custody or visitation rights, M. Qader A. Baig & Associates, LLC is a family law firm in Conyers that can help. We can also assist mothers that are hoping to legally establish the identity of a child’s father.
Call our firm today, and obtain the legal tools you need and deserve.