Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.

Joliet Office


Plainfield Office


Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity: What You Need to Know

 Posted on January 12, 2022 in Family Law

Plainfield Paternity attorneys

When a woman gives birth to a baby, she automatically becomes the child’s mother in the eyes of the law. However, the same is not true for fathers. In many cases, a father is not considered a child’s legal parent until paternity is established. You cannot put a father’s name on a birth certificate until paternity is established either through a VAP or other means. If you are a mother who wants to seek child support from the father, you will need to establish paternity before you can do so. One of the easiest ways to establish paternity is to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP).

What is a VAP?

A Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) is a document that confirms paternity, or the legal parent relationship between a child and the father. Both parents must sign the VAP in front of a witness for it to be valid. If one of the parents refuses to sign the VAP document, it may not be used to establish paternity.

How to Establish Parentage With a VAP

Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity forms are usually available at the hospital where the child is born. You can also get a VAP form on the HFS/DCSS website, the County Clerk’s office, or the Child Support Office. Once you fill out the form, send it to the Illinois Healthcare and Family Services department.

Should I Sign a VAP if I Am Uncertain About Paternity?

Whether you are a mother or a father, do not sign a VAP unless you are certain about who the child’s father is. If you are not sure, DNA testing may be needed to confirm the father’s biological relationship to the child.

Can I Change My Mind After Signing a VAP?

There are serious legal implications to signing a VAP. If you signed a VAP form and then found out the person listed on the VAP form is not actually the child’s biological father, you can sign a Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity. However, you must sign and file the Recession within 60 days of the VAP.

Contact a Plainfield Paternity Lawyer

Establishing paternity is not always a straightforward process. For help with paternity concerns, child support, child custody, and other family law matters, contact Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. Our skilled Joliet family law attorneys can assess your situation, explain your options, and help you take the next steps. Call us today at 815-666-1285 for a free consultation.


Share this post:
  • Badges and Associations
  • Badges and Associations
Back to Top