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When parents welcome a new child into this world, there is a lot to think about. Indeed, from worries about breastfeeding to concerns about college funds, new parents are often overwhelmed by the questions and tasks that surround a new baby. However, while there may be a lot on your mind, one very important thing to think about is a VAP.

VAP – What’s That?

Standing for Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity, a VAP is an important legal document that establishes a father’s legal rights in regards to their child. While parents who are married or in a civil union and have a baby both automatically have parental rights over that child, if parents are not married or in a civil union, they will need to fill out a VAP to ensure that the father’s rights are recognized.

Information You Will Need When Filling Out a VAP

As provided by the Illinois Department of Public Health, if you and your spouse are ready to fill out a Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity form, which you can do at the time of the child’s birth, you will need:

  • Both parents’ full names;
  • Both parents’ places and dates of birth;
  • Both parents’ addresses;
  • The child’s name, date, and place of birth; and
  • To provide information regarding whether or not the mother was married or in a civil union with a person other than the father filling out the paternity form at the time of the child’s birth.

Both parents must sign the VAP; it is not valid if only signed by one parent.

Why Fill Out a VAP?

Whether you are a mother or a father of a child, making sure that paternity over your child is established is important. For fathers, establishing paternity ensures that the father will be able to seek custody or visitation with their child, and participate in making decisions about the child’s life as the child grows. For mothers, if paternity is not established, things like child support payments cannot be sought. Establishing paternity may also provide more support for the mother as she raises the child.

Filling out a VAP is also important for the child; knowing who one’s parents are is a right every child has. Establishing paternity also ensures that a child can seek certain benefits on their father’s record.

Consult with Our Experienced Paternity Attorneys Today

If you have a question about establishing paternity or want to fill out a VAP but your child’s other parent is in disagreement, you may need an attorney. At the law offices of Fay, Farrow & Associates, P.C., we have experience representing both mothers and fathers hoping to establish paternity, and are prepared to provide you with qualified legal services. To learn more about how to establish paternity in the state, call our legal team today. We serve clients in Naperville, Downers Grove, Wheaton, Lombard, Lisle, Aurora, and surrounding areas.

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