+ What is an AOP form?

  • The AOP is a form unmarried parents complete to add the biological father's name to the child's birth certificate.

+ Is the AOP the right option for me and my child?

  • Establishing paternity is an important decision. Completing the AOP form is the fastest and easiest way for unmarried parents to establish legal fatherhood and have the father’s name placed on the birth certificate.
  • Establishing paternity gives you and your child the rights and opportunities you need and deserve.
  • By having his name placed on the birth certificate, the father gains legal rights to his child. His child then has access to benefits such as Social Security, life insurance, military benefits, and inheritances.
  • Your child will also have access to their father’s health insurance as well as both families’ medical histories and lineages.
  • Just as importantly, establishing paternity allows both mother and father to develop an emotional bond with their child and share in the responsibilities and rewards of parenting.
    • If you have any doubts about who the father of the child is, do not sign the AOP form. You may want to get genetic testing completed before you make a decision.

+ What are the requirements to complete an AOP Form?

In Hospital

  • Picture ID and Social Security Number
  • Knowledge of father’s date of birth, place of birth, highest grade completed, address, employment and insurance information

Outside of Hospital

  • Picture ID and Social Security Number
  • A legally licensed notary. Both parents must sign this form with two witnesses in the presence of a licensed notary. DO NOT SIGN THIS FORM BEFORE YOU HAVE IT NOTARIZED. Show the notary your picture identification. The notary must write or stamp their State Notary ID Number under their signature.
  • Type or complete the form in black ink. Do not alter the form, use liquid paper, or make any scratch outs. If you make a mistake, start over with a new form.
  • For more information, visit http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/681/n/237

+ What are the guidelines regarding the type of identification that is acceptable for paternity acknowledgments?

To complete the process, each parent must show a valid, government-issued photo ID. Accepted forms of ID include:

  • Driver’s license
  • State ID card (available at Department of Motor Vehicles offices for a small fee)
  • Consular ID card or other government-issued, valid identification from country of origin (must be listed in the International ID Checking Guide to be accepted if it is from another country)

+ Where can I obtain a blank copy of the AOP form?

In Hospital

  • A blank/complimentary copy of the Acknowledgment of Paternity Affidavit can be obtained from the Birth Certificate Office at the hospital at which the baby was born.

Out of Hospital

  • At any local Health Department

+ How much does it cost to complete the AOP form?

Completed in Hospital

  • If the AOP is completed in the hospital, there is no charge. Once Vital Records process the AOP, they will mail a certified copy of the birth certificate to the address listed on the form at no extra charge.

Completed out of Hospital

  • AOPs that are completed after parents have left the hospital require special processing and a small fee to amend the child's birth certificate.
  • Parents must submit the appropriate completed form to Vital Records with your child's certified birth certificate along with a fee of $27.50. This fee includes one certified copy of the child's amended birth certificate. At the time of submission, you may also include $9.00 for each additional certified copy you would like to receive. If they do not submit a certified copy of your child's birth certificate, they must include an additional $15 to cover a statutory search.

+ What happens if the father is out of state and won’t be able to sign the AOP? Can I send it to him?

  • The process of establishing paternity can be done by properly completing the AOP form. The mother and father will be responsible for completing their sections of the AOP and having them notarized and signed by a witness. Once all parties have completed their section of the AOP, it must be submitted to Vital Records with your child's certified birth certificate along with a fee of $27.50. This fee includes one certified copy of the child's amended birth certificate. At the time of submission, you may also include $9.00 for each additional certified copy you would like to receive. If you do not submit a certified copy of your child's birth certificate, include an additional $15 to cover a statutory search.
  • For more information, visit

+ Can non-U.S. resident sign the AOP?

  • Yes. Regardless of a parent’s citizenship, they can establish paternity for their child, who is a U.S. citizen as long as all required documentation and proper identification is provided. This form is not used to track non-U.S. residents.

+ How does signing the AOP affect custody and visitation?

  • Paternity establishment and custody are two separate issues. Under most circumstances, when a child is born to unmarried parents, the child lives with the mother and she maintains physical custody. Once paternity is established, the father may seek visitation rights through the court system.

+ Will the father be required to pay child support if he signs the AOP?

  • No. The father is not immediately ordered to pay child support. In most cases, it will be up to the guardian of the child to request support. However, if the child or guardian is receiving certain benefits provided for the medical or financial care of that child, a father may be required to pay child support. If you have specific questions about your situation, please contact Child Support Enforcement at 1-888-LAHELPU (1-888-524-3578) or visitdcfs.louisiana.gov.
  • If the biological father is under the age of 18 at the time of conception, he can be included on the birth certificate as long as proper witnesses and documents are available. The minor must have consent from both of his parents by signing as witnesses on the AOP. If the location of the minor’s father/guardian is unknown, the minor’s mother or appointed guardian must present legal custody papers. If proper documents and witnesses are not available during the time of birth, the AOP will be filed containing only the mother’s information and the newborn will be given mother’s last name. Once the minor is 18, they can complete an AOP through the Vital Records Registry for the assigned fees.

Items Needed

  • Witnesses for signing: both guardians of the minor
  • Minor must present a birth certificate (only if needed as another source of Identification)
  • Picture ID and Social Security Number
  • Legal custody papers if the location of the father/guardian is unknown

+ What if parents change their minds later?

  • Parents should think carefully before establishing paternity. If they do change their minds, they have 60 days to rescind (cancel) the establishment.