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Establish Legal Parentage

The Vermont Parentage Act of 2018 provides equal protection for all children. The method you should use to establish parentage depends on the circumstances of your child's birth or conception.


You are automatically recognized as the child's parents if you are married or joined through civil union:

  • When your child is born OR
  • Up to 300 days before your child is born if the marriage/union has ended
  1. You don’t need to do anything to establish parentage. The law considers both spouses/partners to be the presumed parents.
  2. The hospital staff — or licensed midwife if your child is born at home — will add both parents' names to the birth certificate.

If you are the child's genetic parents but are not married to each other when your child is born, you may voluntarily acknowledge parentage.

If your child has a presumed parent who is not the genetic parent, they must file a Denial of Parentage at the same time that you complete the steps to voluntarily acknowledge parentage.

  1. Complete a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (VAP).
  2. Sign in front of a witness who is at least 18.
  3. File it with the Vermont Office of Vital Records.

If you complete it when your child is born, hospital staff or a licensed midwife will send your form to Vital Records. If you complete it later on, send it to the address on the form. In either case, if your VAP is accepted, they’ll make sure both parents' names are on the birth certificate.

Go to court to establish parentage if you:

  1. File an action in Superior Court - Family Division.
  2. The court will make a determination about parentage.
  3. The court may order genetic testing if necessary.

You must establish yourselves as the intended parents if your child will be conceived with the help of assisted reproduction technologies in a certified laboratory.

  1. Complete a Consent to Parentage From Assisted Reproduction.
  2. File it with the Office of Vital Records. This will establish you as the intended parents.

You must establish yourselves as the intended parents if your child will be born through a surrogate (called a gestational carrier in the law). 

  1. Hire an attorney.
  2. Enter into a Gestational Carrier Agreement with the surrogate before the child is conceived. This will establish you as the intended parents.

Parentage Forms
Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage
Denial of Parentage
Consent to Parentage from Assisted Reproduction
Rescission or Removal of Acknowledgment or Denial of Parentage

Learn More
Parentage Brochure
Parentage Definitions
Parentage FAQs
Vermont Parentage Act

If You Need Help

If you want to establish parentage for the purpose of child support, apply for free child support services.

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