The presence of a father in one’s childhood is extremely important for many reasons. For decades now, research has shown that having both parents actively involved in their child’s life will increase their chances of becoming successful adults. In fact, children who grow up with involved fathers are two times more likely to go to college and find stable employment after high school. Furthermore, research shows that a child with an involved father is 75% less likely to have a teen birth, and 80% less likely to spend time in jail. (Census Bureau, 2019).
In general, mothers and fathers provide different but equally important things for their children, but it is necessary that both parents are in the picture in order to receive this valuable support. This is why the Acknowledgement of Paternity form (AOP) is available for unmarried parents.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, if parents are not legally married at the time of the birth, they can establish paternity by signing an AOP form as part of the birth registration process, or at a later time. It’s simple – the parents just need to provide a photo ID and must sign the form in the presence of a Notary. This process is free if you complete the AOP in the hospital after the child’s birth.
By completing an AOP, you are establishing a legal relationship between the father and child. Doing this helps set up a healthy, positive upbringing for the child. When fathers are involved in their childrens’ lives, they are proven to have less criminal involvement, less behavioral problems, less drug use, and improved school successes. So, give your child the advantage of having a father from the start!
To learn more about the AOP form, as well as more information and resources, visit our website at www.vapaternity.com.