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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?

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Attorney answers 5

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.


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.

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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.


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.


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.