What is legitimation? | Georgia Family Lawyer

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If you read our previous article, then you are probably wondering what exactly is legitimation in Georgia. As promised, we are going to fully define what it means to legitimate in Georgia and the consequences of not legitimating in Georgia.

Legitimation is the process where a father, who is not married to the mother at the time the child is born, establishes a legal relationship to the child and establishes legal rights to the child.

Before a father legitimates his relationship to his child he is known as a putative father. A putative father has NO legal rights to his child. Which means:

  • No visitation rights
  • No custody rights
  • The child cannot inherit from his/her father

If you have questions about the legitimation process, give us a call 762-323-1460

Now, a common question is, “I signed the birth certificate at the hospital and it said something about legitimation, have I legitimated?”

If you signed both areas on the birth certificate, including the legitimation section, then you have created the legal status to your child,


You do NOT have rights to the child, as mentioned above. You MUST file a petition to legitimate in the Superior Court in order to establish rights to the child.

Also, as of July 1, 2016 the legitimation section is no longer on birth certificates.

The Big Takeaway from this article:

If you were not married to the mother at the time of the birth of your child then in order to establish rights to your child you must file a petition to legitimate in Superior Court.

762-200-2924 phone Available 24/7

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