Tennessee Paternity Acknowledgment Program (TN VAoP)
If the mother is married when the child is born or the child is born within three hundred (300) days of the entry of a final decree of divorce, the husband is presumed to be the child’s legal father. If the mother is not married during this time period, the biological father can sign a Voluntary Acknowledgment of Paternity (VAoP) to establish paternity at the time of the child’s birth. The VAoP form can be completed at birth in the hospital or later by appointment at a Health Department or your local child support office. Click here to find the child support office which serves the county in which you live.
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. If the test is done through the child support office, after positive DNA testing results are returned to the office from the certified DNA lab, paternity will be established through court order.
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.
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.