The Father's Duty

The father of a child has a legal responsibility to provide for the support, educational, medical and other needs of that child. That duty can include child support payments to the child’s mother.

A child has rights of inheritance from his or her father and may be eligible through him for benefits such as life insurance, Social Security, pension and veteran’s or disability benefits. Further, the child will need to be aware of his or her medical history.

Paternity can be established in either of two ways:

  1. the father can acknowledge the child by signing the birth certificate and a written declaration before a notary public and two witnesses; or
  2. an action can be brought in court.

More information concerning paternity establishment and child support may be obtained from the Louisiana Department of Children and Family Services. To learn more about these services, visit or call 1-888-LAHELPU (1-888-524-3578).