The study examines the effect of discourse on the social rights of mothers and children in the Israeli welfare state. The issue was investigated through Israel's Child Support (Payment Assurance) Law, which ensures child support by the state in case of non-payment by the debtor (usually the father). According to this law, mothers and children are guaranteed a modest allowance, while the National Insurance Institute assumes responsibility for collection of payment from the debtor. However, over time, the law has failed to reflect commitment to a horizontal and egalitarian division of resources. The discourse which emerges from the researched material shows that the law was justified through arguments of need, rather than through emphasis on the rights of children to sufficient protection by the state. Thus, the discourse of need generated a fragile law that offers feeble rights.