Tennessee Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Program (TN VAoP)
***ATTENTION*** Due to the social distancing consideration for Tennesseans during the COVID-19 pandemic, local county Health Departments are now completing the Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAoP) form for unmarried parents by appointment only. Contact your local county Health Department to schedule an appointment to complete the VAoP form. Metro Health Departments should be contacted for information on their VAoP processes at this time.
What is Paternity? Paternity means fatherhood. Establishing paternity is the legal term for determining the biological father of the child.
What is the VAoP? A simple legal process for an unmarried mother to establish paternity with the biological father. This process will allow the father’s name to be added to the birth certificate and if the parents choose, for the child to have his last name.
What if either party has doubts about who the father is? If either party has doubts about who the father is, they should not sign the VAoP. They need to have DNA testing to determine whether or not the individual is the father. They can contact a private DNA lab or their local child support office to schedule the DNA tests. Click here to find the child support office which serves the county in which you live.
TN VAoP Resources
An interactive training for hospital birth certificate staff on the in-hospital VAoP process. The training is specifically designed for new birth clerks. The Table of Contents can be used as a guide to enable users to go directly to particular subjects as needed for reference.
An interactive training for health department staff on the VAoP process. The training is specifically designed for new staff assisting parents in completing the VAoP. The Table of Contents can be used as a guide to enable users to go directly to particular subjects as needed for reference
Parent Education Videos
Special note: If you print the paternity brochures on ”both sides of the paper”, also select “flip on short edge”.
Parent Education Handouts
Instructions for Parents – VAoP and Birth Certificates
If you have additional questions regarding the Voluntary Acknowledgement of Paternity (VAoP) process you may call the Paternity Hotline at 1-800-457-2165 (toll free) to speak with a TN VAoP Program staff member.
If you are requesting a copy of a birth certificate or VAoP, or need to know how to change a name on a birth certificate, contact the Tennessee Office of Vital Records at 615-741-1763, or visit their website https://www.tn.gov/health/health-program-areas/vital-records.html.