In Georgia, the putative father registry is a statewide listing containing information about men who may be the biological father of a child. The registry includes men who have registered themselves as potential biological parents (but not “legal” fathers) as well as fathers who have signed acknowledgment forms for children born out of wedlock. Under Georgia law, birth fathers, even if they are unwed and have yet to prove paternity, have significant rights over their children, including input into whether or not they can be adopted and the opportunity to seek custody rights.
Children are a blessing, but sometimes they can come as a surprise. Some fathers don’t find out until much later that they are a parent and by then, they may also find out that they are liable to pay costs, sometimes even retroactively (effective from a time in the past) to support this newly discovered child.
Recently, our attorneys have represented an increasing number of fathers who want to be more involved in their children’s lives. Although most people refer to this as “Fathers’ Rights“ it is referred to as a Legitimation case in legal circles. Fathers’ Rights can be harder to enforce, because the mother’s biological connection to the child is essentially proven at childbirth, while some fathers must establish paternity and legitimation before being able to exercise the full parental rights.
Many fathers are uninformed regarding child custody or visitation after divorce. One common myth is that the mother’s requests are given priority in determining custody, and that the father must comply. Don’t miss out on being a part of your child’s life. You have the same rights as your ex-wife, unless stated otherwise by the court. Here are four rights you have as a father: