Establishing Legal Parentage

For unmarried parents, a birth certificate DOES NOT establish legal parentage. A birth certificate can be used to establish the identity of the person named on it—but for children of unmarried parents, it is not the document that legally establishes who a child's father or parent is. It's easy to establish legal paternity without going to court—and it's free.

The Parentage Opportunity Program (POP) is a voluntary program for eligible parents to establish legal parentage free of charge. This significantly decreases the time and money required to establish legal parentage through the lengthy and expensive court process. A filed Voluntary Declaration of Parentage (VDOP) has the same force and effect as a judgment for parentage issued by a court. For more information, visit Department of Child Support Services' Establishing Legal Parentage page or view the Parentage Opportunity Program brochure.

Eligibility
Signing a VDOP will legally establish a child's parentage if you are:
- An unmarried birth parent and the only possible genetic father; OR
- Two people, married or unmarried, who had their child through assisted reproduction using sperm and/or egg donation, except if any donation was from their spouse.

Eligible parents will need to fill out the VDOP have their signatures witnessed by an authorized witnessing agency, such as Child Support Services of the Vital Statistics office.

Vital Statistics Office Hours & Location
To make an appointment, call 707-784-8060.
The office is open Monday - Friday from 8:00am - 4pm.
We are located at 275 Beck Avenue, Fairfield CA, 94533.
Please check in with the main receptionist upon arrival.