Other than by marrying the mother of a child, legitimation is the only way that the father of a child born in the State of Georgia may establish legal rights to his child. Only the father of a child may file a petition seeking to legitimate his child.
An order of legitimation:
The Petition for Legitimation may be filed in the father's county of residence, the child's county of residence, or if there is an adoption pending, in the county where the adoption was filed. If custody is requested, and the father wants to use these forms, the mother must consent, and the Petition to Legitimate must be filed in her county of residence. An exception to this rule occurs when the mother consents and waives jurisdiction (that is, she states in a notarized written statement that it is fine to file your case in your county of residence). A second exception is if the mother of the child is deceased and there is no other legal custodian or guardian of the child.
If custody is not an issue, and there is no other father listed on the birth certificate, then an Order for Legitimation can be heard by a Judge on the same day that it is filed and the Order for Legitimation may be signed on the same day. If the mother or another father listed on the birth certificate must be served by publication, then the hearing cannot take place until after the publication is finished (60 days).
For more information call the Law Office of Alex M. Brown at 706-447-6994 to determine the best course of action for your situation!