Enterprise, AL asked in Family Law for Georgia

Q: GA law-The extended family of a father who did not legitimize his child wish to have contact. What can we do?

Man and woman had a spring fling that resulted in pregnancy and a child. The man did not want the child and made that clear. The mother sued for paternity and child support, to which the father is now paying. However, he never filed for legitimacy and is not on the birth certificate. The child is now almost a year (expiration of "opportunity interest" in many cases I saw). He withheld having a child from his family until now, and his family does not support his decision not to legitimize. As we understand it, by him not legitimizing, he (nor his family by proxy) will never have any legal grounds for a relationship with his child, she would not be included in inheritance, and if for some reason her mother was unable to take care of her, the father's side of the family would not be informed or have the chance to step forward for her. Is this true? Can family members legitimize her in some other form? We do not agree with his decision and yet it seems his poor decision is irrevocable.

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3 Lawyer Answers
Samantha A Holloway
Samantha A Holloway
Answered
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: The father is the only one who can file to legitimate the child. However a judge will have to determine whether he has abandoned his opportunity interest.

Homer P Jordan IV
Homer P Jordan IV
Answered
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: It sounds as though the father is paying child support. The father could legitimize and seek visitation rights. He’s the only one that can take that legal process.

Regina Irene Edwards
PREMIUM
Regina Irene Edwards
Answered
  • Lawrenceville, GA
  • Licensed in Georgia

A: The father can legitimate. There is no one year rule. Legitimation can be done at any age of the child. The family members can't legitimate for him.

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