There are many reasons to establish paternity and for those who need help, there is information available about the process in Georgia. Paternity creates a legal relationship between the father and child and there are emotional benefits as well.
In situations where both parents agree on who the child’s biological father is, they can complete and sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, either at the hospital when the child is born or later. It must be signed by both parents and notarized.
If the parents do not agree, they can ask the court to determine paternity. The court may first order the proposed father to complete genetic testing, which is usually done through a blood sample or cheek swab. The proposed father’s DNA is then compared with the child’s DNA to determine paternity.
Once the father is confirmed, the court will issue an order that will outline child support obligations and child custody rights.
A paternity determination entitles the child to receive financial support from their father, gives them inheritance rights, and may provide access to family medical history which can help the child prepare for future health risks. The father has a legal right to make decisions about the child regarding their health, education and religious upbringing.
It can also make the child eligible for health insurance through their father’s employer, eligible for certain government benefits like Social Security survivor payments, and it creates an emotional bond between the parent and child.
There is support available for those who need help with the paternity process.