Mandatory Paternity Testing
Effective July 1, 2015, the Division of Child Support Services (DCSS) is required by law to conduct paternity testing in all newly established child support cases in which paternity has not already been established. Paternity establishment by DCSS may be processed through a local Superior Court or through an Administrative Court, depending on the county of your residence. Paternity testing is available in both these processes.
If paternity testing is necessary and the alleged father is found to be the biological father, he will be responsible for reimbursing DCSS for the paternity testing fee. If the alleged father is excluded as the biological father, the biological mother who applied for services will responsible for reimbursing DCSS for the paternity testing fee. The paternity testing fee will not be charged to mothers who are receiving TANF or Family Medicaid, grandparents raising grandchildren or relative or non-relative third-party custodians. Currently, the cost for paternity testing is $22 per person. For mother, father and one child, the total cost of paternity testing through DCSS is $66.
Other paternity establishment methods
Establishing paternity for a child in Georgia may be done in one of the following ways:
- The child’s parents are legally married to each other at the time of the child’s birth;
- Unwed parents sign a Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment Form at:
- the hospital when the child is born, or later at either
- the State Office of Vital Records in Atlanta or the Vital Records Office in the county where the child was born
- Court order (divorce decree, separation agreement, or other judicial or administrative order).
How do I establish paternity for my child?
Additionally, if unwed parents have established paternity through the Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Program, the DCSS can take action(s) to obtain and/or a child support order (i.e. monetary child support and/or health insurance) for you if you apply for services.
Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Program
The Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgement Program was established by Federal Law in 1988. Federal laws relating to this program have been updated several times since 1988 to ensure an easy process is in place to assist unwed parents in establishing paternity for their child.