Affidavit of Parentage - AOP

Overview: What is an Affidavit of Parentage (AOP)?

If a couple is unmarried, an AOP is one way to establish paternity. An AOP is a voluntary admission of paternity made by the parents of a child. Upon signing an AOP, a person is declared a child's natural father and is listed on the child's birth certificate (exceptions may apply).

Why Do We Need to Sign and Submit and AOP?

Signing and submitting the AOP form to Vital Records can help establish a legal father. The legal father may be able to assert custody and time-sharing rights; he also accepts the obligation to provide support. The child may benefit from certain legal rights.

How can an AOP be obtained?

The most convenient time for parents to establish paternity for their child is in the hospital when the child is born. The father must be present and provide identification to have his name placed on the Affidavit of Parentage. When this document is filed with Vital Records, both parents' names are recorded on the birth certificate (exceptions may apply).

Requirements for Submitting an AOP to NCOVR

AOPs can be submitted if all of the following criteria are met.

  • The AOP is signed by both parents and both signatures are notarized prior to the child turning 18.
  • No father is listed on the birth certificate.
  • The mother was not married within the period between conception and birth.

Exceptions to Acceptance of the AOP

AOPs cannot be accepted in the cases below:

  • A father is already listed on the birth certificate.
  • The mother was married within the period between conception and birth.
  • The AOP was signed and notarized after the child reaches the age of 18.

For the above cases, parents need to obtain a certified court order disestablishing any other father. Contact Scotland County Clerk of Court, (COC) or Child Support Enforcement services at Scotland County Department of Social Services (which can also be located using NC Child Support Services Office Search by County ) for information on obtaining a court order for this purpose.

Scotland County Health Department AOP Submission Process

  1. If the parents did not complete an Affidavit of Parentage at the hospital, Scotland County Health Department can complete an Affidavit of Parentage Form(s) (includes instructions). All four copies of the form must be completed, signed by both the mother and father, and notarized. 
    1. The AOP must be signed by each parent in the presence of a notary public at the health department. 
    2. The first two signed and notarized pages of the AOP form must be mailed to NCOVR.
    3. Each parent should receive / retain a signed and notarized "Parent's Copies" (pages 3 and 4 of the AOP form).
  2. Complete and sign the Birth Certificate Modification Application Form.
    • The Birth Certificate Modification Application Form must also be signed in the presence of a notary -- only one parent's signature is required for the Birth Certificate Modification Form, not both (as for the AOP form in step 1).
  3. Parents will be responsible for mailing the completed, signed, and notarized forms, accompanying ID photocopy, and payment to the NCOVR.
    • AOP form (pages 1 and 2 completed and containing notarized signatures of both parents; parents complete and retain pages 3 and 4.)
    • Birth Certificate Modification Application (with legible ID photocopy of the applicant/signer): completed, signed (one parent), and notarized. See pages 2-3 of the Birth Certificate Modification Application for acceptable forms of ID.
    • Payment (see Associated Fees below; cash, credit card, and personal checks are not accepted).
    • Mailing Address:North Carolina Vital RecordsAttention: Paternity1903 Mail Service CenterRaleigh, NC 27699-1900