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Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity

As goes with all legal documents, it is important to understand what you are signing. Not only must you read the form thoroughly, knowing the future ramifications of signing is advisable. If someone is asking you to sign a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, there may be an underlying reason for having the document available. If you want to establish your paternity, it is also helpful to know your legal responsibilities after signing.

What Is a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity

The Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity is a legal document that is required to establish parentage. If the biological parents are not married or in a civil union at the time of the birth of the child, no paternity will be presumed. This form is available at most hospitals for signing at the time of birth; then it must be sent to and filed with the Illinois Health and Family Services (HFS). If it was unable to be completed during that time, the form is available anytime at the county clerk’s office, the health department, public aid, or online for your convenience. The following information is necessary to complete the form:

  • The father’s full name
  • The father’s date of birth
  • The father’s place of birth (state or country if other than the United States)
  • The mother Social Security number (last four digits, but not having it will not disqualify filing)
  • A photocopy of a non-expired government-issued photo ID of both biological parents
  • The required fee

What the Future Holds

After completing the form and it has been witnessed, signed, and filed, the situation is the same as a court order that has established a legally binding relationship between father and child. With this connection comes all of the duties of parentage. This means that legally, the father now has the rights and responsibilities to:

  • Secure financial support for the child, either while living with the child or through child support,
  • Establish health care, including health and dental, and
  • Request visitation or custody.

If there is a request that you complete a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage or are considering filing one yourself, it is important to include all of the necessary information. As with any legal documentation, it is advisable that a knowledgeable and experienced legal professional review the paperwork before filing. Doing so can prevent misunderstandings, therefore saving you time and money in fees and other costs. If you would like assistance understanding and filing this life-altering form and would like to discuss it with a Wheaton, IL family law attorney, contact Keller Legal Services, P.C. today at 630-868-3093 to take advantage of our free initial consultation.