Voluntary acknowledgement

If the father agrees that he is the father, he may sign a Certificate of Parentage (COP), which legally proves who the father of a child is.

The first opportunity to sign the COP is at the hospital, right after a baby’s birth. Hospital staff can help you complete it. COPs can also be signed after leaving the hospital at a state or county registrar’s office, or at a local welfare office. A worker in the child support office in your county can help you with this or you can call 1-877-NJKIDS1.

New Jersey's Paternity Opportunity Program (POP) facilitates paternity establishment for babies born to unmarried parents. POP requires hospitals to provide unmarried parents with the opportunity to acknowledge paternity voluntarily.

Teen parents (also called minors) have the right to establish paternity on their own without the consent of a parent or legal guardian.