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Admissible evidence in Georgia paternity cases

Any relevant evidence may be introduced at a paternity hearingin Georgia, but there are specific rules regarding certain evidence, including the results of genetic testing. Specifically, theresults of genetic testing “shall be admitted in evidence without the need for foundation testimony or other proof of authenticity or accuracy” so long as a party to the genetic test does notobject in writing at least 30 days prior to the hearing. OCGA §19-7-46(a). If a party does object in writing within the required time frame, the evidence can still be admitted, but mustbe “offered by a duly qualified, licensed practicing physician, duly qualified immunologist, duly qualified geneticist, or other duly qualified person.” Id.

If a genetic test establishes at least a 97% probability of paternity, there is a rebuttable presumption of paternity. OCGA §19-7-46(b). A party can only overcome this presumption byoffering clear and convincing evidence that the paternity test is incorrect. Id.

A few other items are specifically mentioned under Georgia law as admissible evidence in a paternity hearing:
(1) Evidence of a refusal to submit to genetic testing is admissible “to show that the alleged father is not precluded from being the father of the child.” OCGA 19-7-46(c).
(2) An expert’s opinion about the time of conception is admissible. OCGA §19-7-46(d).
(3) Testimony relating to sexual access to the mother by any person on or about the probable time of conception is admissible. OCGA §19-7-46(e).

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