Establishing Paternity in Georgia

Paternity is an important family matter for the legal responsibility of having a father’s name listed on a birth certificate. Paternity can be necessary in the child’s future such as when a parent wishes to take legal action to obtain a child support order or health insurance for a child in the future. Determining paternity helps ensure the child has the best life possible and has a father established on public record. Here’s what you need to know about establishing paternity in Georgia.

How to establish paternity?

There are two common ways to establish paternity. The first is mandatory paternity testing, which is required by law by the Division of Child Support Services in all newly established child support cases. A court order such as a divorce decree or separation agreement can also call for paternity establishment. 

Paternity may also be established when the child’s parents are legally married at the time of the child’s birth. Unwed parents may also sign a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Form either at the hospital at the time of the child’s birth or a later date at the State Office of Vital Records located in Atlanta. You can also sign this form at the Vital Records Office located in the county where the child was born.

Challenging a Paternity Establishment

If there’s any doubt that the child in question does not belong to the father, even if paternity has been established, it’s in everyone’s best interest to challenge paternity. You must contest the Paternity Acknowledgement (PA) form within 60 days of signing it with proof that you’re not the child’s father by submitting evidence such as medical records demonstrating infertility or sterility, or by having a DNA test done. A court order is required to remove the father’s name from a child’s birth certificate. After 60 days, paternity may only be challenged in court.

What happens after paternity is established?

When paternity is established, and a PA form is signed, the father accepts the roles and the responsibilities that come with acknowledging and establishing paternity. Often, a father will be required to agree to take responsibility for any future child support payments that may be ordered, as well as arrange to carry medical insurance for the child until they’re 18 years of age, or sometimes beyond.

Benefits of Establishing Paternity

A child needs to know who their parents are and where they come from in this world. Establishing paternity can help children fulfill an emotional need for identity and provide the ties between a father and child. Paternity may also help the child establish a connection to both their father and mother. It can also aid in health care by knowing the medical history of both parents. Children also have a right to financial support from both of their parents. Establishing paternity ensures that they have the financial support, right to inheritance, and access to veteran and social security benefits.


Now that you have taken the time to educate yourself on who we are, it’s time to focus on how to move forward in your case. Contact us via phone or the contact form to schedule your comprehensive one-hour consultation. Be sure to have available, all relevant information and details about your case when you contact Family Matters Law Group so that we can provide you with an exceptionally personalized experience.