Considering giving up a child for adoption is never taken lightly, and is often an emotionally-wrought time for both birth parents. While most adoption-focus is put on birth mothers, the needs of Georgia fathers need to be considered as well.

In order for a man to be considered a child’s legal father in the state of Georgia, he must fall under a specific set of parameters. Considering Adoption cites these guidelines:

  • The man has legally adopted the child
  • The man has been determined to be the father by a final paternity order
  • The man was married to the birth mother either at the time of birth or at conception, unless the courts disprove paternity
  • The man married the birth mother after the time of birth and recognizes the child, unless the courts disprove paternity
  • The man has made the child legitimate through a final order and has not given up his parental rights or had them terminated by the court

In the event that a child is born outside of wedlock and the father wishes to be recognized as the child’s legal father, he may petition the courts for either guardianship or legal custody of the child. Generally, when this occurs both the birth mother and the birth father will be heard in court, and it is possible that the birth father may be recognized as the child’s legal father at this time.

Even if you are the biological father of a child, you may not be recognized as the child’s legal father. This is most common when a child is born outside of wedlock. This information is meant to inform you about the legal status of fathers in Georgia but is not intended as legal advice.