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Statutes > Georgia > Title-19 > Chapter-7 > Article-2 > 19-7-21-1

O.C.G.A. 19-7-21.1 (2010)
19-7-21.1. “Acknowledgment of legitimation” and “legal father” defined; signing acknowledgment of legitimation; when acknowledgment not recognized; making false statement; rescinding acknowledgment

(a) As used in this Code section, the term:

(1) “Acknowledgment of legitimation” means a written statement contained in a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity form indicating that a mother and father of a child born out of wedlock have freely agreed and consented that the child may be legitimated.

(2) “Legal father” means a male who:

(A) Has legally adopted a child;

(B) Was married to the biological mother of that child at the time the child was conceived or was born, unless such paternity was disproved by a final order pursuant to Article 3 of this chapter;

(C) Married the legal mother of the child after the child was born and recognized the child as his own, unless such paternity was disproved by a final order pursuant to Article 3 of this chapter;

(D) Has been determined to be the father by a final paternity order pursuant to Article 3 of this chapter;

(E) Has legitimated the child by a final order pursuant to Code Section 19-7-22; or

(F) Has legitimated a child pursuant to this Code section

and who has not surrendered or had terminated his rights to the child.

(b) Prior to the child’s first birthday, a father of a child born out of wedlock may render his relationship with the child legitimate when both the mother and father have freely agreed, consented, and signed a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity and an acknowledgment of legitimation which have been made and have not been rescinded pursuant to Code Section 19-7-46.1. The State Office of Vital Records shall provide notice, in writing, of the alternatives to, legal consequences of, and the rights and responsibilities of signing a voluntary acknowledgment of legitimation.

(c) Voluntary acknowledgment of legitimation shall not be recognized if:

(1) The mother was married to another man when the child was born;

(2) The mother was married to another man at any time within the usual period of gestation;

(3) There is another legal father;

(4) The mother has voluntarily and in writing surrendered all of her parental rights pursuant to the provisions of subsection (a) of any of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 and has not withdrawn her surrender as permitted by the provisions of subsection (b) of Code Section 19-8-9 or the mother’s parental rights have been judicially terminated by a court of competent jurisdiction or an action to terminate such rights has been initiated and is pending;

(5) The mother has signed a voluntary acknowledgment of legitimation with another man; or

(6) The child is one year of age or older.

(d) If any of the circumstances described in subsection (c) of this Code section exists, the provisions of Code Section 19-7-22 shall be the only method of legitimation.

(e) Voluntary acknowledgment of legitimation shall not authorize the father to receive custody or visitation until there is a judicial determination of custody or visitation.

(f) It shall be unlawful to make a false statement on a voluntary acknowledgment of legitimation, and the making of a false statement shall be punishable as an act of false statements and writings under Code Section 16-10-20.

(g) Where a voluntary acknowledgment of paternity is timely rescinded and includes a voluntary acknowledgment of legitimation, the legitimation shall also be deemed rescinded.