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Unmarried men and their children: something to think about

A natural concern of any single adult male in Georgia who is having relations with a woman and wants to ensure his rights in the event he fathers a child is that he be legally acknowledged as a dad following a pregnancy.

Many unmarried men understandably have concerns with paternity and legitimation, wanting to know that they will have certain rights regarding a child they have biologically fathered, including meaningful access and, in many instances, custody.

Fathers’ rights advocates across the country also stress the critical importance of unmarried dads legally acknowledging paternity in order to have a say in the event a mother seeks to place a child for adoption.

There is an official process operative in most states, including Georgia, that enables an actual or possible biological father to legally acknowledge paternity in a timely matter. Over the past several decades, Putative Father Registries have cropped up in dozens of states.

The goal of the registries is simply noted and uniformly similar across the country: Properly filling out a registry confers upon a putative father the right to be informed about a baby’s birth.

“Without registry,” notes one commentator who teaches family law, “the wishes of the biological father are irrelevant.”

The Georgia Department of Public Health website contains relevant information in a section called Putative Father Registry, with the state urging putative fathers to register before a child is born.

Many unmarried men might likely have questions concerning their right of notification regarding birth, as well as other legal rights they might have following a pregnancy.

Time can be of the essence in such considerations, and proper procedures must be followed. An experienced family law attorney who has helped many fathers assert their legal rights can answer questions and provide diligent representation in any paternity-related matter.

Source: The Atlantic, “Sex and the single dad: What if your partner has a kid?” Kevin Noble Maillard, April 21, 2014

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