What rights do fathers have once paternity has been established?

Atlanta, GA family law attorney Regina I. Edwards talks about what rights Fathers have if not originally the birth parent.

Contact Regina I. Edwards

Email: [email protected]

Phone: (770) 854-0777


A very big area of my practice is father’s rights and paternity. So Georgia is a very unique state, if you have a child and that child is not within the bounds of marriage, the mother has all rights to custody and visitation and a lot of times fathers are very surprised to hear that especially since they have signed a birth certificate, they may have lived with the mother and helped provide support throughout the child’s life. But if there is no legitimation there are no rights for the father.

So even if you sign the birth certificate at the hospital and acknowledge paternity all that means is you have the right to pay child support. You don’t have the right for visitation, you don’t have the right for custody, you have nothing. In order to get those rights, you have to file what’s called a legitimation action. After the legitimation action is filed and a court enters an order finding the father to be the legitimate father then you have rights as if the child had been born within a marriage.