In Georgia, a child born out of wedlock is considered to be illegitimate. (Antiquated but true) Many fathers assume that by signing the birth certificate, that makes their child legitimate. While oftentimes signing the birth certificate establishes paternity, it does not legitimize the child. While some hospitals make legitimation paperwork available for unwed parents to sign at the time of the child’s birth, the vast majority do not. Not many parents know how to legitimize a child and naturally, that’s not many parents’ concern right after childbirth.
An unwed father needs to know that he has NO legal rights to his child until the child is legitimized. A court cannot award a father any type of visitation or custody until the child is legitimized.
An unwed mother needs to know that in order to receive child support for the child, paternity must be established.
Check out our in-depth article on Child Legitimation in Georgia. Here you can find some of the most important answers to your questions. However, we strongly recommend you contact an experienced family law attorney to get a detailed breakdown of the entire process.