Understanding Paternity Rights During Adoption in Georgia

If you believe that a woman is carrying your child and plans to put the baby up for adoption, it is important to understand how paternity rights work in Georgia. If you do not agree with the woman’s plan to put the child up for adoption, you may have the right to step in and fight for your rights as a father. Here is a basic summary of paternity adoption rights in Georgia:

The Mother Must Notify You of the Child’s Birth

Georgia law forces mothers to notify the biological fathers of their children as soon as the birth occurs. They have several options in this regard, including phone calls, letters, or a publication in a local newspaper. In other words, the mother cannot vanish without a trace, leaving you guessing about the fate of your child.

You Should Receive Notification of Adoption Proceedings

In addition, Georgia law forces all involved parties to notify the biological father when adoption proceedings begin. You then have a right to appeal the decision and fight to become the legal parent of the child. 

You Can Establish Your Own Paternity

You can also take steps to establish your biological paternity through a process called “legitimation.” This is only necessary if you never married the mother, as a legal wedding makes you the “assumed” legal father. In order to engage in this process, you must take various steps. The first step is to provide a written statement that acknowledges that you are the father. The second step is to register with the Putative Father Registry – also known as the “PFR.” 

You Still Face Serious Challenges When Fighting for Your Paternal Rights

While this might all seem very straightforward, the reality is that many fathers face significant legal challenges after their biological children have been put up for adoption. Success is not guaranteed – even if you are, in fact, the biological father. If you fail to register with the PFR in a timely manner, you can face serious consequences. Theoretically, the State can terminate your parental rights, and your child can be adopted without your consent. 

According to the Mercer Law Review, adoptions can proceed even if fathers immediately file petitions. In a 2020 case, a father repeatedly appealed his denied petition – and the decision went all the way to the Georgia Supreme Court. Ultimately, the highest court in the State upheld the trial court’s ruling – and the adoption proceeded. These potential challenges highlight the need for effective legal representation. 

Find a Qualified Paternity Rights Lawyer in Atlanta

Although paternity rights in Georgia might seem confusing, you are not alone in this battle. With help from Lankord & Moore Law, you can confidently learn about this subject and fight for your rights. During your first consultation, you can discuss the specifics of your situation and determine the most appropriate course of legal action. Reach out today to get started. 


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Mahatma Gandhi

Lankford & Moore Law in Downtown Lawrenceville

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