Legal Question in Family Law in Georgia

I am a single mom and my son is 7. His Bio-Father is listed on his birth certificate but we live in Georgia and he never legitamzied the birth. I was told that under Georgia law he has no rights since we were not married and he never legitamized the birth. I never took him to court, never seeked child support, never got any support from him financially or otherwise. We broke up when I was pregnant and he saw him twice as a baby, that is it. He was also charged and pled guity to misdemeanor stalking and harrassing me. He is incarcerated now on other charges. I am trying to get my sons passport and the state department needs either a court order granting sole custody, or something showing the father has no rights. I am not sure what step to take next. Do I terminate parental rights, and can I if none were ever technically established? Or do I file for sole custody? We are leaving for vacation in a little over a month and I am in a time crunch here. Any advice you can give me would be greatly appreciated!

Asked on 5/23/13, 6:02 pm

1 Answer from Attorneys

Tahira Piraino Tahira P. Piraino

I had a client a couple of years ago who was preparing to go on a cruise. The cruise line would not allow the child to travel without authorization from the father. I wrote the cruise line and provided a copy of O.C.G.A. 19-7-25 which states "only the mother of a child born out of wedlock is entitled to custody of the child, unless the father legitimates the child . . ." Perhaps if you go on line, print out this Code Section and provide an affidavit from you stating the father has never legitimated the child, the State Department might accept that. You really do not have time to file an action and have a ruling in a month. If you know where the biological father is, he may agree to sign the form needed to obtain a passport. Good luck.

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Answered on 5/24/13, 7:22 am

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