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Georgia State Code
Title      15
Chapter      11  
Section Navigation     1 ... 10         11 ... 21    
    22 ... 30       30.1 ... 38.1  
    39 ... 48         49 ... 64    
    65 ... 73         78 ... 88    
      89 ... 99        100 ... 112   
   113 ... 152       153 ... 176    177     
Section<<< 89 89.1 90 93 94 95 96 97 98 99 >>>  
Title 15, Chapter 11, Section 96 (15-11-96)

(a) Upon filing of the petition, summons shall be issued forthwith on the child's parents, guardian, lawful custodian, and on the person presently having physical custody of the child.

(b) A copy of the petition shall be attached to the summons in all cases other than service by publication. When served by publication, the notice shall indicate the general nature of the allegations and where a copy of the petition may be obtained by the child's parents, guardian, lawful custodian, and the person presently having physical custody of the child. Such copy shall be available from the court during business hours. A free copy shall be available to the parent or, upon request, shall be mailed to the parent. All summons shall contain a statement to the effect that the hearing is for the purpose of terminating parental rights.

(c) The summons shall require the person who has physical custody of the child to appear personally and to bring the child before the court at the time and place stated in the summons. Where, at the court's discretion, it is deemed in the interest of the child that the child need not be brought before the court, the court may so indicate. The summons shall be served at least 30 days before the time set for the hearing, and a copy of the petition shall be served together with the summons and shall be made in the manner provided in Code Section 9-11-4, relating to service in civil practice.

(d) If the paternity of a child born out of wedlock has been established in a judicial proceeding to which the father was a party prior to the filing of the petition, the father shall be served with summons as provided by this article. Such father has the right to be heard unless he has relinquished all paternal rights with reference to the child.

(e) If there is a biological father who is not the legal father of a child and he has not executed a surrender as specified in paragraph (2) of subsection (e) of Code Section 19-8-4, 19-8-5, 19-8-6, or 19-8-7 he shall be notified of the proceedings pursuant to this Code section in the following circumstances:

(1) If his identity is known to the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney;

(2) If he is a registrant on the putative father registry who has acknowledged paternity of the child in accordance with subparagraph (d)(2)(A) of Code Section 19-11-9;

(3) If he is a registrant on the putative father registry who has indicated possible paternity of a child of the child's mother in accordance with subparagraph (d)(2)(B) of Code Section 19-11-9 during a period beginning two years immediately prior to the child's date of birth; or

(4) If the court finds from the evidence, including but not limited to the affidavit of the mother executed in compliance with the court's requirement pursuant to subsection (g) of this Code section in the form provided in subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26, that such biological father who is not the legal father has performed any of the following acts: (A) Lived with the child;

(B) Contributed to the child's support;

(C) Made any attempt to legitimate the child; or

(D) Provided support or medical care for the mother either during her pregnancy or during her hospitalization for the birth of the child.

(f) Notification provided for in subsection (e) of this Code section shall be given to a biological father who is not a legal father by the following methods:

(1) Registered or certified mail or statutory overnight delivery, return receipt requested, at his last known address, which notice shall be deemed received upon the date of delivery shown on the return receipt;

(2) Personal service, which notice shall be deemed received when personal service is perfected; or

(3) Publication once a week for three weeks in the official organ of the county where the petition has been filed and of the county of his last known address, which notice shall be deemed received upon the date of the last publication.

If feasible, the methods specified in paragraph (1) or (2) of this subsection shall be used before publication.

(g) If there is a biological father who is not the legal father of the child and the identity of such biological father is not known to the petitioner or the petitioner's attorney, then the court shall be authorized to require the mother to execute an affidavit regarding such father in the form provided in subsection (h) of Code Section 19-8-26 or show cause before the court if she refuses. If the court finds from the evidence including but not limited to the affidavit of the mother that such biological father who is not the legal father has not performed any of the following acts:

(1) Lived with the child;

(2) Contributed to the child's support;

(3) Made any attempt to legitimate the child; or

(4) Provided support or medical care for the mother either during her pregnancy or during her hospitalization for the birth of the child,

and the petitioner provides a certificate from the putative father registry stating that there is no entry on the putative father registry either acknowledging paternity of the child or indicating possible paternity of a child of the child's mother for a period beginning no later than two years immediately prior to the child's date of birth, then it shall be rebuttably presumed that the biological father who is not the legal father is not entitled to notice of the proceedings. Absent evidence rebutting the presumption, then no further inquiry or notice shall be required by the court and the court shall enter an order terminating the rights of such biological father to the child.

(h) When notice is given pursuant to subsection (e) of this Code section, it shall advise such biological father who is not the legal father that he loses all rights to the child and will not be entitled to object to the termination of his rights to the child unless, within 30 days of receipt of such notice, he files:

(1) A petition to legitimate the child pursuant to Code Section 19-7-22; and

(2) Notice of the filing of the petition to legitimate with the court in which the action under this Code section is pending.

(i) A biological father who is not the legal father loses all rights to the child and the court shall enter an order terminating all such father's rights to the child and such father may not thereafter object to the termination of his rights to the child if within 30 days from his receipt of the notice provided for in subsection (e) of this Code section he:

(1) Does not file a legitimation petition and give notice as required in subsection (h) of this Code section;

(2) Files a legitimation petition which is subsequently dismissed for failure to prosecute; or

(3) Files a legitimation petition and the action is subsequently concluded without a court order declaring a finding that he is the legal father of the child.

Saturday May 23 10:45 EDT


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