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What is a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity Form in Illinois?

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plainfield paternity lawyerEstablishing paternity creates the legal father-child relationship. Confirming paternity is the first step in ensuring that a child will receive the financial support that they need through child support. It is also the first step in establishing the legal rights and responsibilities of the father. For unmarried couples in Illinois, paternity can be established by signing a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAP) form. However, if this is not possible, paternity may be established through an Administrative Paternity Order or an Order of Paternity through the court system. If you are involved in a paternity case, as either the mother or the father, it is important to work with attorneys who can represent you and your case effectively. 

How a VAP works

A VAP is a legal document that establishes the paternity of the child of unmarried parents. It is available to be filled out at the hospital after a child is born and can be completed at the same time as the birth certificate. If the parents prefer to take the form home to read and then complete it, it must be filled out and signed in the presence of a witness who is at least 18 years old. It can be filed at any time after the child is born. 

Once a man signs the form, he is officially the child’s parent in the eyes of the law. The father may also be subject to a child support order. Both parents are responsible for providing for the child, including medical care and can be liable for child support payments if they later separate. In a case where you are not sure who the biological father is, you should not sign the VAP. Paternity in this case should be determined by genetic testing.

The completed signed, dated and witnessed form should be submitted to the Illinois Department of Healthcare and Family Services. Once HFS accepts and files the form, the VAP is considered valid. If either parent chooses to rescind the VAP, they can do so within 60 days of the effective date by submitting a valid Rescission of Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity or Rescission of Denial of Parentage form. 

Contact a Joliet Family Law Attorney

If you are a mother or a father involved in a paternity case, contact the Will County paternity lawyers at Law Offices of Tedone and Morton, P.C.. We offer free consultations and will work on your case with the best interests of you and the child at heart. We know how important it can be for a child to have both parents involved in their life. Call our office at 815-666-1285




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