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There is a common misperception that being named as the father on your child’s birth certificate is enough to ensure you have rights to visitation and for making decisions regarding their care. Unfortunately, this is not the case.

Signing the birth certificate only helps to establish paternity, meaning the identity of the father, and can be used to establish child support payments.

However, it does not give you any parental rights. Only the mother of the child born out of wedlock is entitled to custody and has all parental rights over the child, unless the father legitimates the child.

In Georgia, the following actions can establish paternity:

A voluntary acknowledgment of paternity;
A birth certificate with the father’s name on it, entered with his consent;
An administrative determination of paternity;
Both parents being married at the time the child was born (paternity is presumed).
It is important to note that paternity does not provide a father with additional rights to the child. Instead, except when the parents are married, in order to gain rights as a father, a legitimation action must also be pursued.
Contact Derrick H. Muhammad for a free consultation.