Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment

A baby with a towel on their head looks upward

Wisconsin hospitals, midwives, medical clinics, tribal enrollment offices and local vital records offices have received training and have been authorized to work with the Bureau of Child Support, local child support agencies, and the Office of Vital Records to help unmarried parents establish paternity for their children.

The Wisconsin Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment form allows parents to establish paternity without having to go to court. A signed and notarized Wisconsin Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment form filed with the Office of Vital Records fully establishes legal paternity. The father's name is then added to the birth certificate.

Filing the VPA form does not give a father legal custody or physical placement. Under Wisconsin law, an unmarried mother has sole legal custody until a court orders otherwise.

Important note: If the couple are not absolutely sure that the man is the father of the child, they should not sign the VPA form. The couple should be referred to their child support agency for genetic testing.

Resources for Birth Hospitals & Midwives

Ordering and Printing Paternity Materials

  • VPA Forms - Authorized agencies may order Paternity forms from the State Vital Records Office. (See contact information tab below)
  • DVDs - Authorized agencies who need copies of the VPA Training DVD for staff or the Power of Two DVD for parents should contact the Bureau of Child Support, Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment Coordintor. (See contact information tab below)

Child Support Publications

Wisconsin child support booklets and brochures describing paternity, voluntary paternity acknowledgment, and child support services for mothers and fathers are available in English, Spanish and Hmong.

To order child support publications, visit the Ordering Child Support Publications page. Publications can be printed from this page as well.

Contact Information - VPA

Voluntary Paternity Acknowledgment Coordinator

State Vital Records Office