When children are born to two unwed parents, it can complicate matters when it comes to your rights and responsibilities to that child. As a father, when you most likely want shared custody of your child. Before you assert your rights over your child, it is important that you recognize whether you officially established paternity. If you never established paternity, you may have to have to establish it.
According to the Division of Child Support Services in Georgia, you have to establish paternity by law if you have not already. If you need a paternity test, then it is your job to reimburse the DCSS for a paternity test. Now, if it turns out that you are not the biological father, then you will not have to pay the fee.
Now, if you are unwed and have a child with your partner, then you may be able to use the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Program. You would sign this form close to the birth of your child. This will establish the relationship between mother and father. It also creates legal responsibilities for the family. When signing this form, it is crucial that the father is certain that he is the biological father.
The form itself is completely voluntary and once signed, the courts presume that the father is the true father of the child and the birth certificate will mirror this fact. In addition, the father has the right to a notice if there is an adoption proceeding or a proceeding to terminate the rights of a biological father who is not the legal father.