Skip to Main Content

Tennessee Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity Program (TN VAoP)

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

Online Training - A Guide for Hospitals

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.

Parent Education Videos

          English Version 
          Spanish Version

Paternity Brochures

          Establishing Paternity (English)  (Spanish)
          Paternity Guide for Dads (English)  (Spanish)
          Paternity Guide for Moms (English)  (Spanish)

          Special note:   If you print the paternity brochures on ”both sides of the paper”, also select “flip on short edge”.

Parent Education Handouts

Fact Sheet for Married or Divorced Moms
          English Version
          Spanish Version

Fact Sheet for Unwed Moms – Questions and Answers about Acknowledging Paternity
          English Version
          Spanish Version
          Somali Version

TN VAoP Process – Instructions for Unmarried Parents
          English Version
          Spanish Version

Instructions for Parents – VAoP and Birth Certificates
          English Version


Contact Us

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 855-809-0072, or visit their website