Who is a Father?

A father is usually the male partner of a child under the age of 18. In most countries, a father has the parental, financial, and emotional relationship with his children. Though the father plays an important role in his child’s life, sometimes his duties exceed his abilities and he may be unable to provide his children with all the material items they need. This is where the father’s rights come into question. The father has the basic rights of being the legal father of his child and hence the father should get his custody rights honored by the court.


Though paternity has been considered dead since the time of Adam, the flesh is alive through modern science and the right of the father is recognized and protected in modern society. The right of the father to paternity can be inherited from a father to his male offspring. Male offspring however do not have the same privileges as female offspring as their biological father cannot change his title (usually father of the offspring) and they are denied the right to live with their mother unless custody is granted by the court for some valid reason such as adultery or desertion of duty.

The father does not lose his rights to paternal inheritance when the mother dies because the father has the responsibility to support his offspring. If the father has more than one male child then the father must provide for those children also depending on the number of children. The father can bequeath property which passes on to his son or daughter but he cannot change the rights of paternity as it has already been determined. A father can change his name legally by undertaking an oath of paternity.

In Ireland and the United Kingdom, a father has the same legal rights as a mother. If a male child is born within the family, then the father is considered to be the legal father of that child. The only case where this is disregarded is when the mother is not married. In instances where the father wishes to acknowledge the paternity of his male offspring then he has to file the relevant paperwork with the Revenue Department. In most cases paternity has to be acknowledged before any tax benefits can be claimed.

Male children sometimes do not wish to acknowledge the father status and in such cases adoption can be arranged. Adoption is voluntary where biological father of the adoptive father consent is given by the adopted couple for whom the adoption is being arranged. Male sperm will be used in the conception of female sperm and therefore the man is legally considered to be the biological father of the child. In many African countries the surrogate mother will carry the baby inside her the uterus but the father remains anonymous and is not acknowledged as a father. In these cases the father must provide financial help as well as guarantee that the baby is legitimately being carried by the woman.

Where the relationship between a man and his male offspring is unbalanced, a problem may arise. The offspring will try to take away the father’s rights and this will lead to a court case. If the court upholds the rights of the father it could give the male offspring a bad name. Sometimes the father carries his male offspring without acknowledging him as a father thus leading to conflict in families.