Voluntarily Acknowledging Parentage

If both parents agree, signing the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage Form is the simplest way to establish a legal relationship between father and child.

At the hospital:

You may establish parentage at the hospital when your baby is born. Here’s how:

  1. Fill out the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage Form;
  2. Both parents sign the form in front of a witness (someone other than the parents and at least 18 years old); and
  3. Hospital staff add the father’s information to the child’s birth certificate and submit the form to the Office of Vital Records.

At a later date:

If you can’t complete the form at the hospital, you may submit it later on to the Office of Vital Records. Keep a copy for your records.

Office of Vital Records
Department of Health
108 Cherry Street, PO Box 70
Burlington, VT  05402-0070

Once the Office of Vital Records receives your form, they will add the father’s information to your child’s birth certificate. If you submit the form more than six months after your child’s birth, you will need a Probate Court decree to amend the birth certificate.

Changing Your Mind

The law allows you to rescind (or withdraw) your voluntary acknowledgment of parentage within 60 days of signing the form OR before a court hearing to establish parentage takes place—whichever happens first.

If you change your mind, you must advise the Office of Vital Records in writing that you want to rescind your voluntary acknowledgment.

More Info/Assistance

If you need more information or help establishing parentage, please contact the OCS Helpline at 1-800-786-3214 or OCSCSU@state.vt.us.

For more detailed information about voluntarily acknowledging parentage, you should read:

Establishing Parentage: What every new parent should know (pdf)

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage form (pdf)


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