What is a voluntary acknowledgment of Paternit

Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity and Establishing Paternity By Agreement in Illinois

Updated on:
March 19, 2019

In this article, we explain how to establish paternity by mutual agreement of the parents.  

Illinois Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (“VAP”) Explained

When unmarried individuals have a child in Illinois, the easiest way to add the biological father to the birth certificate if both parents agree is for both parties to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (known as a “VAP”) at the hospital after the child is born.  

Executing a VAP causes the father to be added the the birth certificate and makes the biological father liable to financially support the child through child support.  However, a VAP does not give the father any rights to parenting time with the child or to make parental decisions.  Once paternity is established through a VAP, parenting rights and responsibilities can later be adjudicated through a court proceeding.  To learn more about this, check out our article, Illinois Parenting Laws Explained.

Can a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Be Rescinded?

Either party may rescind the VAP within 60 days of its effective date.  Once this 60 day period has passed, a VAP can only be undone by filing a petition to establish the non-existence of a father-child relationship within 2 years of the effective date of the VAP.  The burden is on the petitioner to show both:

  • That the person who signed the VAP is not actually the biological father; AND
  • That the person signed the VAP as a result of fraud, duress, or a material mistake of fact.  

Both of these facts must be proven by clear and convincing evidence, which is a higher burden of proof than the standard “preponderance of the evidence” standard.   

How to Establish Paternity By Agreement if the Father did Not Sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

If the father did not sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity shortly after birth, then the parties have to file a petition to establish paternity with the court.  If the parents are in agreement, this is a simple process.  A court date will be set by the clerk when the petition is filed.  The court will then generally order a DNA test.  If the DNA test shows that the alleged father is in fact the biological father, the court will issue an order establishing paternity.  

To learn more about this process, as well as the process for establishing paternity if the parents don’t agree, check out our article: Illinois Paternity Law Explained.

Once an Order of Paternity has been entered by the court, the parents can submit a certified copy of the order along with an An Affidavit and Certificate of Correction Request form to the Illinois Department of Public Health.  The clerk of court can provide you with a certified copy of the order.  

For more on this, check out our article: How to Correct a Birth Certificate in Illinois.


Book an appointment with O'Flaherty Law using SetMore

Presented By O'Flaherty Law

O'Flaherty Law is happy to meet with you by phone or at our offices in Downers Grove, Elmhurst, Naperville, St. Charles, Lake in the Hills and Tinley Park, Illinois.

What to Expect From a Consultation

The purpose of a free consultation is to determine whether our firm is a good fit for your legal needs. Although we often discuss expected results and costs, our attorneys do not give legal advice unless and until you choose to retain us. Although most consultations are complimentary, some may carry a charge depending on the type of matter and meeting location.

Leave a Comment With Your Questions

Read more about

Child Support

What is a voluntary acknowledgment of Paternit
Disclaimer: Our articles and comment responses do not constitute legal advice and are not intended to create an attorney-client relationship.

Please contact us to schedule a free consultation for legal advice specific to your situation.

How to establish paternitySigning the birth certificatteEstablish paternityHow to determine paternityUsing DNA tests to determine paternityHow do I get my childs father on the birth certificate.

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required

Here are some articles that may interest you

Categories