The Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (VAP) form is a legal document that can be used to establish parentage without going to court.
The VAP asks for information about the child, the mother, and the person trying to show that they are a parent of the child. The form must be complete, and both parents must sign it in front of a witness. The witness must be at least 18 years old and not be one of the parents or the child. The witness must sign and date the VAP and write his or her address and telephone number below the parents' signatures.
A VAP can be completed any time before or after the child is born.
If the mother of the child is married to a person who is not the biological parent, then the spouse must first sign a Voluntary Denial of Parentage form to say they are not the parent. Then, the mother and the biological parent must sign a VAP.
Minors under the age of 18 can sign a VAP without the consent of a parent or guardian. However, parentage is not established until six months after the younger parent turns 18.
Note: You have the right to get a genetic test before signing a VAP. If you sign a VAP, you are giving up this right. Even if a genetic test is done later, and shows that you are not the biological parent, you will still not be able to undo the VAP if it has been more than 60 days since you signed it. Read more about Undoing a VAP.
Updated: March 2018