Being a Dad

Lets your child know that you love her.

Having a Dad

Increases your child's chances for academic success.

Being a Dad

Provides your child with emotional support.

Having a Dad

Enhances your child's self-esteem.

Being a Dad

Provides your child with a positive male role model.

Having a Dad

Provides your child with a sense of physical and emotional security.

Being a Family

Provides your child with guidance and discipline.

Having a Dad

Helps your child learn important life skills.

Being a Dad

Provides your child with an alternative perspective on life.

Having a Dad

Provides your child with greater financial resources.

Being a Family

Provides your child with someone to talk to when she has questions.

Having a Dad

Lowers your child's chances for school failure.

Being a Family

Facilitates your child's moral development.

Acknowledgment of Paternity Form

Because every child deserves to have both parents' names on their birth certificate.


  • Will I open a child support case by signing the AOP?

    Absolutely not. By signing the AOP you simply add a legal father to your child's birth certificate. Either parent can open a child support case regardless of whether this form is completed or not.
  • Will I lose my benefits if we acknowledge paternity?

    If you are referring to TANF or Medicaid you will not lose benefits by acknowledging paternity.
  • How is custody and visitation determined?

    Establishing custody and visitation are determined seperately by the courts and not by signing the AOP.


DNA Testing Questions?

It's not uncommon to have questions regarding DNA testing and how it's done. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, the DNA test must reflect a 98% probability to accurately identify the biological father. However, most testing now shows 99.99% or 0% probability. There are several options available to you if you are not married and are in need of this service. Please open this link to review DNA Information in English or Asistencia para el Apoyo de Niños in Spanish
The VPEP program does not provide DNA testing. Should you have further questions please contact the Division of Vital Records at 804-662-6200 or the Division of Child Support Enforcement at 1-800-468-8894.

Smartphone App

Now there is a FREE APP available on smartphones to assist new parents. You can enter the date your baby is expected to be born and learn about the necessary services available to you before and after the delivery. You will find local obstetricians, gynecologists, pediatricians, midwives, hospitals and other professional services in your area. You will find a calendar that helps you keep track of the important dates leading up to, and for the first year, the birth of your baby. You can keep track of these dates in one central location. Go to the app store on your smartphone now, search for Virginia Paternity Establishment Program and download it for free.

What We Do to Help Families:


VPEP's team of experts will assist you through the process of voluntarily establishing your child's paternity -- it is easy, fast, and free at the time of birth!


At VPEP, we believe it is important to bring together families and helpful resources to ensure each of Virginia's children have the best possible beginning.


VPEP educates Virginia families and communities about the importance and benefits of paternity establishment through partnerships with local agencies and hospitals.


VPEP works to promote voluntary paternity establishment which strengthens families and communities and encourages healthy relationships between parents and children.


VPEP offers training to establish and expand the knowledge base for all professionals interested in assisting parents with paternity establishment.


VPEP's team understands that establishing paternity may be new to you. We are here to walk you through your course of action and are sensitive to your individual needs.

What is Paternity Establishment?

If a child is born to parents who are not married, the father must be legally identified before a father's name can be added to the child's birth certificate. This process is called establishing paternity. VPEP will also help a man who believes he may be the father establish paternity if the child has no legal father. Unless the father becomes a legal father, the child may miss out on many of the things that children of married couples take for granted. The child may not receive the benefits that come with having two legal parents, such as Social Security and inheritance rights. If paternity is not established, the father's name will not appear on the child's birth certificate.

Meet the VPEP Family


Virginia Department of Social Services

Division of Child Support Enforcement

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