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In Georgia, once a legitimation order is given, can it be appealed if a DNA test proves another male is the biological father?

Atlanta, GA |

A few months ago, the male who thought he was the father was given an order of legitimation of my son in GA and is in a custody battle with the mother of my son. I recently took a DNA test and discovered that I am the biological father and not the other male. Can either I or the mother of my child appeal his legitimation order?

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Best answer

    It is not considered an appeal. However, you have the right to pursue a legitimation action of your own. The petition would name both the mother and the legal father (the one with the prior legitimation order) as defendants. Do not try this without an attorney.

    I am exclusively a family law attorney, practicing primarily in the metro Atlanta, Georgia trial courts. However, I handle appeals from anywhere in Georgia.


  2. You can't appeal but you can likely sue for legitimization (and the other man would need to be served too). This is a very complex matter which requires a lawyer.

    If you find this answer helpful, please mark it here on AVVO as helpful. In answering you, I am attempting to communicate general legal information and am not representing you (and am not your lawyer). Do feel free to call me at 404-768-3509 if you wish to discuss actual representation (the phone call also does not retain counsel; that requires an office visit and appropriate paperwork). In that a forum such as this provides me with limited details and doesn't allow me to review details and documents, it is possible that answers here, while meant to be helpful, may in some cases not be complete or accurate, and I highly recommend that you retain legal counsel rather than rely on the answers here. (You can also email my office at geaatl@msn.com . An email also does not retain my office, but can help you get an appointment set if you prefer not to call). I am happy to discuss possible representation with you. Any information in this communication is for discussion purposes only, and is not offered as legal advice. There is no right to rely on the information contained in this communication and no attorney-client relationship is formed. Nothing in my answer should be considered as tax-advice. To ensure compliance with IRS Circular 230, any U.S. federal tax advice provided in this communication is not intended or written to be used, and it cannot be used by the recipient or any other taxpayer (i) for the purpose of avoiding tax penalties that may be imposed on the recipient or any other taxpayer, or (ii) in promoting, marketing or recommending to another party a partnership or other entity, investment plan, arrangement or other transaction addressed herein. I am also required to advise you, if your question concerns bankruptcy, that the U.S. Congress has designated Ashman Law Office as a debt relief agency that can help people file bankruptcy.


  3. An appeal of the order is probably not the move you want to make, but you should certainly file your own legitimation petition with the same court, preferably prior to the court entering its decision in the custody matter. You might want to consult with a family law attorney to assist you with this matter.

    This response is intended for general purposes only and does not in any way establish an attorney-client relationship.


  4. I recommend that the Mother take legal action to Set Aside the legitimation for the male that is not the father; also there are defenses the Mother can make in the custody action that would be helpful to resolve the matter. Ultimately, you have to legitimate your son. I am available to discuss my recommendations.


  5. Actually, it is fortunate that this matter is not an appeal. Appeals are designed to correct errors of law made by the court. Here, new evidence has come to light, again a thing appeals generally do not address. A DNA test identifying you as the father will give you standing to legitimate and will allow you the opportunity to seek custody, if you desire. It will also most likely strip away the other man's opportunity to continue his custody case. We frequently handle legitimation and custody cases.