As a responsible and loving adult male, fatherhood of your Georgia child undoubtedly represents one of the most important aspects of your life. But did you know that your paternity is not always automatic?
The Georgia Division of Child Support Services explains that in order to establish paternity, you must do one of the following three things:
- Wed the mother before your child’s birth
- Both you and the mother sign a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment either when your child is born or very shortly afterward
- Go to court and have a judge declare you the father
Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment
If you and the mother fail to marry prior to your child’s birth, the hospital will provide you with the necessary VPA form. Both you and she will need to sign it before a Notary Public and then file it with the State Office of Vital Records. The Division of Child Support Services will require you, the mother and the child to all undergo DNA testing to prove your paternity. Assuming the tests come back positive, this establishes your paternity and allows your name to appear on your child’s birth certificate as the father.
If you and the mother fail to sign a VPA at the hospital, you can get the form later from either the State Office of Vital Records or your local Vital Records Office.
Should your child’s mother dispute your paternity, you will need to go to court to obtain a Paternity Order. Once again, you, the mother and your child will need to und4ergo DNA testing to prove that you are the child’s biological father.
This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.