Kim Malsam-Rysdon, Secretary of Health
South Dakota Department of Health

Responsibilities of the Father of the Unborn Child

father and baby

The father of a child has a legal responsibility to provide for the support, medical and other needs of his child. In South Dakota, that responsibility includes child support payments to the child's mother or legal guardian. Children have rights of inheritance from their father and may be eligible through him for benefits such as life insurance, Social Security, pension, veteran's or disability benefits. Additionally, children benefit from knowing their father's medical history and any potential health problems that can be passed genetically.

The South Dakota Department of Social Services, Office of Child Support Enforcement helps parents establish a financial partnership. Staff at eight field offices help locate non-custodial parents, establish paternity, establish or modify child support and medical support orders, enforce support orders, and collect and process support payments.

For more information contact the Office of Child Support Enforcement at 605-773-3641 or visit its web site at The following links to the Department of Social Services provide additional information:

  • Voluntary Paternity Establishment booklet and form (Spanish and English) is available online, or by calling 605-773-3165

Statutory child support guidelines can be found at SDCL 25-7-6.1 through 25-7-6.17.

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