COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) – Children born outside of marriage are considered illegitimate in the state of Georgia, and because of this law, fathers have no legal rights of any kind.
The Legitimation station is not a new program but they have recently moved from the government center to 10th St. in Columbus.
They are able to help 5 to 10 fathers a week complete the legal paperwork.
Amari Nichols is a young father wanting to get full legal and custodial rights to take care of his only child.
"I thought if you was put on child support you automatically have rights but you don't. Even after you take a DNA test, you still don't have rights. You still got to get legitimize," said Nichols.
Edward F. Berry is the Director of the Legitimation Station. He, along with volunteers from legal firms and law enforcement, works to helps men them fill out the paperwork required in order to file a petition in court.
"A superior court judge has to sign an order that says that father is the legal father of the child. The fact that he is the biological father makes no difference," said Edward Berry.
"The process is pretty much a 1-2-3 step," said Nichols.
And Nichols is hoping his drive down from Atlanta to the Legitimation Station is a step in the right direction to getting full custody of his child.
The Legitimation station is only open on the first, second and third Friday's from 9a.m.-noon.