Instructions for Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage
What is voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (AOP)?
Voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage (AOP) is a simple administrative process through which unmarried couples and married couples who use assisted reproduction can establish legal parentage. Offering parents the opportunity to complete an Acknowledgment of Parentage form in a hospital or birthing center means parents can begin to establish legal parentage even as soon as the day the child is born.
Be sure the parents are eligible for AOP
Before discussing Acknowledgment of Parentage with new parents, make sure they are eligible to sign the AOP form. Only two people can sign the form to establish parentage. The two people may fit one of two scenarios:
- Unmarried Birth parent and Alleged parent
- Married or unmarried Birth parent and
(for couples who use assisted reproduction)
One of the parents MUST be the birth parent.
Otherwise, parentage must be established in court.
Complete or verify the AOP form
The Acknowledgment of Parentage form (LDSS-5171) consists of six (6) required sections. Brief instructions and illustrations for each section are listed below. Use the buttons on the right to display or hide all the illustrations. Links in the text open individual images in a separate window.
Whether you assist the parents in completing each section or simply collect and submit a form they have completed, you should carefully review each section of the form. Forms should be legibly written in black ink, typed, or filled electronically. All required information should be entered.
- Top of the form.
Providers should enter their Hospital Code and check that the correct box for "where signed"
Note: Only the Birth Registrar can enter the district and register numbers.
Child's section of the form.
The child's full name, the name and address of the hospital, the child's date
of birth, and the child's gender should be entered. If the child's name has been
crossed out or written over, a new form must be completed.
- Birth parent's section of the form.
The birth parent must provide full name, address, place of birth,
date of birth, Social Security number, and marital status. The birth parent must sign the form
in front of two witnesses. Witnesses cannot be related to either parent.
Other parent's section of the form.
The other parent must provide full name, address, place of birth,
date of birth, and Social Security number. The other parent must sign the form in front of
Witnesses cannot be related to either parent.
- Mailing addresses on the back of the form:
- Registrar's sections of the form:
Parents may complete the AOP form at another place
If parents are unable to complete an AOP form in the hospital or birthing center, parents may complete the Child, Birth Parent, Other parent and Mailing address sections and file the form themselves with the registrar of the district where the birth certificate is filed.
Parents should be sure to check "Other" for "where signed," but they must not complete the Registrar's sections at the top or bottom of the form.
Parents must sign the form in front of two witnesses who are not related to either parent. The parents can then send or deliver the signed and witnessed form to the appropriate registrar.
- For births that took place in New York City, mail or take the original Acknowledgment of Parentage to the registrar at the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene, Office of Vital Records, Attention: Corrections Unit Room 144, 125 Worth Street CN-4, New York, NY 10013-4089.
- For births that took place outside New York City, mail or take the original Acknowledgment of Parentage to the registrar of the district where the birth certificate is filed.
For more information about voluntary Acknowledgement of Parentage, videos are available on YouTube:
Hospital Based Acknowledgment of Paternity, 16 minutes
Explains when parentage needs to be acknowledged, what signing a voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage form means, and who should (or should not) sign this form
This video fulfills the requirement to provide oral notice of the parents' rights and the consequences of signing the AOP form.
✱ New video coming in March 2021 ✱
Completing the Acknowledgment of Parentage Form, 9 minutes
Explains how to complete and file a voluntary Acknowledgment of Parentage form
- the individual for whom parentage needs to be established
- Birth Parent
- the parent who gave birth to the child
- Alleged Parent
- the person who may be the child's genetic parent but who has not yet been legally declared to be the parent
- Intended Parent
- an individual who intends to be legally bound as the parent of a child resulting from assisted reproduction.
- Other Parent
- refers to either the alleged or intended parent
- Putative Father Registry (PFR)
- the State registry where Acknowledgments of Parentage and Acknowledgments of Paternity are filed. Information in this registry shall be released to a court or authorized agency upon request but shall not be released to any other person without a court order for good cause shown.
- Gamete Donor
- the sperm or egg donor