acknowledgment. 1. A recognition of something as being factual. 2. An acceptance of
responsibility. 3. The act of making it known that one has received something. 4. A formal
declaration made in the presence of an authorized officer, such as a notary public, by someone
who signs a document and confirms that the signature is authentic. • In most states, the officer
certifies that (1) he or she personally knows the document signer or has established the signer’s
identity through satisfactory evidence, (2) the signer appeared before the officer on the date and in
the place (usu. the county) indicated, and (3) the signer acknowledged signing the document freely.
Cf. VERIFI-CATION(1). [Cases: Acknowledgment 1. C.J.S. Acknowledgments §§ 2–4.]
“An acknowledgment is a verification of the fact of execution, but is not a verification of the
contents of the instrument executed; in other words, an acknowledgment is the method of
authenticating an instrument by showing it was the act of the person executing it, while a
verification is a sworn statement as to the truth of the facts stated within an instrument.” 1A C.J.S.
Acknowledgments § 2 (1985).
5. The officer’s certificate that is affixed to the document. — Also termed (in sense 5)
certificate of acknowl-edgment; (loosely) verification. See PROOF OF ACKNOWLEDGMENT. 6.
A father’s public recognition of a child as his own. — Also termed acknowledgment of paternity.
formal acknowledgment. 1. A father’s recognition of a child as his own by a formal, written
declaration that meets a state’s requirements for execution, typically by signing in the presence of
two witnesses. • In Louisiana law, this recognition may also be made by a mother. La. Civ. Code
art. 203. 2. A father’s recognition of a child as his own in the child’s registry of birth or at the
child’s baptism. • In this sense, a formal acknowledgment typically occurs when a man signs the
birth certificate or baptismal certificate as the father or announces at the baptismal service that he
is the father. The fact that a man is named as the father on a certificate of birth or baptism is not a
formal acknowledgment unless the father signs the document.
informal acknowledgment.A father’s recognition of a child as his own not by a written
declaration but by receiving the child into his family or supporting the child and otherwise treating
the child as his own offspring. [Blacks Law 8th]