Recent statistics have shown that four of every ten babies born in America are born to unmarried parents.
40 years ago, the typical unmarried pregnant woman was a teenager. The times, they are a changin'...teens make up just 23% of non-marital births.
Now 60% of unwed mothers are in their 20s and 17% are in their 30s. But even though these women are not married, many are living with the father of their child.
Experts who compare American out of wedlock births to those in Europe, say the differences are vast. Children living in countries with very high levels of "free" social services (not forgetting that taxes are far higher) and paid maternity leaves of up to a year fare a lot better than children born out of wedlock in the United States where paid maternity leave is rare and healthcare is not universal.
For no known reason, out of wedlock births maintained a status quo from 1995 to 2002 and is now on the rise again - quite a rapid rise. In fact, the rise is 26% higher in 2007 than it was in 2002. Some believe children in America born out of wedlock face similar childhoods to any other kids - others believe that financial and emotional costs are far higher for these children and that kids born into marriage generally fare better - despite the chance of divorce down the line. According to the report from the CDC, births to unmarried mothers face higher risks of low birth weight babies, preterm babies, and are at a higher infant mortality weight.
The highest rates of out of wedlock births are in D.C. (59%) and Mississippi (54%) and the lowest rate is in Utah (20%). 86% of births to teenage moms are out of wedlock.
Do you think it makes a difference to children that they are born out of wedlock? Why? Why not?
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