1 in 4 U.S. kids raised by single parent: Why? How to reverse?

One in four children in the United States is now being raised by a single parent, according to The Associated Press. The percentage is on the rise and is higher than developing countries.

Here are the stats from the AP:

“Of the 27 industrialized countries studied by the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development, the U.S. had 25.8 percent of children being raised by a single parent, compared with an average of 14.9 percent across the other countries.”

Ireland was second (24.3 percent), followed by New Zealand (23.7 percent). Greece, Spain, Italy and Luxemborg had among the lowest percentages of children in single-parent homes.”

Why experts think this is happening:

“Experts point to a variety of factors to explain the high U.S. figure, including a cultural shift toward greater acceptance of single-parent child rearing. The U.S. also lacks policies to help support families, including childcare at work and national paid maternity leave, which are commonplace in other countries.”

“When our parents married, there was a sense that you were marrying for life,” said Edward Zigler, founder and director of Yale’s Edward Zigler Center in Child Development and Social Policy. “That sense is not as prevalent.”…

The single parent phenomenon has been occurring over recent decades. The study noted the U.S. and England have higher teenage birthrates than other countries, partially contributing to the higher single-parent numbers, though the proportion of children born outside marriage was not significantly higher than the other countries.

Christina Gibson Davis, a professor at Duke University’s Sanford School of Public Policy, said changing gender roles, the rise of contraception, high incarceration rates in some communities and an acceptance of having children out of wedlock have all contributed to the growing number.

What it means to their way of life:

“Single parents in the U.S. were more likely to be employed — 35.8 percent compared to a 21.3 percent average — but they also had higher rates of poverty, the report found.”

“The in-work poverty is higher in the U.S. than other OECD countries, because at the bottom end of the labor market, earnings are very low,” said Willem Adema, a senior economist in the group’s social policy division. “For parents, the risk is higher because they have to make expenditures on childcare costs.” …

“Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women, added it isn’t being a single parent in itself that raises difficulties.”

” ‘Single moms do a brilliant and amazing job raising their children,’ said Terry O’Neill, president of the National Organization for Women. ‘It is also true that single moms in this country are systemically underpaid, and systematically under-resourced and systemically unrespected. It’s not the fact they are single moms that makes things difficult.’ ”

I actually don’t find the statistic to be surprising but I do think it’s sad for both the parents and the kids. I can’t even imagine being a single parent. I think it would be so hard to manage everything – work, taking care of the kids, taking care of house, cooking, shopping, errands, sports. It’s completely overwhelming, and I can’t imagine how they do it.

I recently met a single dad who has found a surprising support system. Here’s the gist of his story:

He got married and had two kids with a woman, let’s call her Pam. (I actually don’t know her real name.) They divorced and she soon remarried and had more kids. Well a few years later she divorced again. The kids all became close and felt like siblings and the two former husbands liked each other and wanted the kids to be together so the two former husbands MOVED IN TOGETHER!

So now the two former husbands are essentially a family raising the kids together. They support each other and help each other with pick up, chores, homework. He said they have spend-the-night parties for the kids and coach little league for them. They also pool their resources on expenses.

The ex-wife is livid and says they gang up on her. I just love how these two single dads found support for each other.

So lots of questions here:

Does 1 in 4 raised by single parent surprise you? Does it surprise you it’s more than developing nations?

Which factors do you think are the main cause for this phenomenon? How can American reverse the trend?

How can you help couples marry for life?

Do you really think more support when kids are born would make a difference?

Would you encourage more birth control for teens to prevent out of wedlock babies?

What are the best ways for single parents to cope when they are alone raising a child?

– Theresa Walsh Giarrusso, ajc.com Momania. I have increased my Twitter activity. I am sending out great stories for moms each day focusing on health, fitness, sex, entertainment, food, travel and obviously parenting! So follow me on Twitter at @AJCMOMania!)

42 comments Add your comment

Theresa Walsh Giarrusso

April 27th, 2011
1:08 pm

Hey guys — I’ve got two blogs running concurrently — 24 percent of parents in a survey trust celebs like Jenny McCarthy for vaccine advice — what about you??? See link for more conversation!

http://blogs.ajc.com/momania/2011/04/27/do-you-trust-celebrities-for-vaccine-advice/?cp=1#comment-60370

JJ

April 27th, 2011
1:14 pm

There are numerous ways to define a single parent. Death, divorce, out of wedlock pregnancies, abandonment, etc. Also the current trend in Hollywood is for single women to adopt and raise a child by themselves, with the help of nannies, etc. Apparently for some, if it’s ok in Hollywood, it must be ok in general.

Theresa – as a single parent, you do what you have to do. I never in my wildest dreams thought I would be a single parent, but here I am, 20 years later. It was/is by far the toughest thing I have ever done. But I’m very fortunate to have a very supportive family, and a whole lot of support from my friends.

The hardest part about being a single parent, is only one income. I never got child support, as hard as I tried, going in front of a Judge so many times, they knew me by name…….I got tired of chasing “nothing” so I gave up, dug in my heels and did what I had to do to raise this child.

I’m on of the lucky ones. She just finished her second year of college, and as I type this, she is headed home from school for the summer. I am very proud of her, and of myself for raising a strong, happy adult…..

I never took any assistance from anyone, other than my parents, my mom mostly as my dad passed away when my daughter was 2. She has been wonderful and has helped me in so many ways, financially, and encouraging me when I was down……My brother helped too, we support each other, our kids are all very close. I have a very strong family unit, and for that I am greatly thankful!!!

shaggy

April 27th, 2011
1:15 pm

The only single parents that I have a real problem with are the ones that decide beforehand to be one…and the 6 babies and six different daddies ones, so I guess I have two problems, unless they are one and the same.

Also, It would be nice if people sowed a load of wild oates (read “dated” if you are offended by wild oates) before they decide to open up the oven for business. Maybe, then they could at least make an informed decision.

Enemas for the Needy

April 27th, 2011
1:24 pm

Here’s a solution. Don’t get married and don’t have kids. That’s if the single parent concept is such a bummer for you. Personally, I think it is better for the parents to divorce instead of staying married for the kids. They know when a marriage is a sham. What sort of message does that send to them? Further, there is less angst in the household if the parents are not spending their time living a lie instead of raising children.

FCM

April 27th, 2011
2:43 pm

Um….here is what I always answer when people say how do you do it:

WHAT OPTION DO I HAVE???? I brought these kids in the world. I love them. I promised to raise them, be the parent, be responsible etc…….He moved out. He chose to ignore the job of parent he took on. FINE! That is on him.

I choose to be the parent to the best that I can everyday. That is on me. Is the option to let them grow up without any parenting? I don’t think so. Is it to be less then parent I can be because I am on my own? I don’t think so.

RJ

April 27th, 2011
3:02 pm

I don’t think these numbers can be lowered due to the fact that it is now acceptable to BE a single parent. I hear more women shouting “I’m a single parent” now more than ever. It’s almost like they should be rewarded for being one. I am aware that some are single parents like @JJ, not by choice. That’s different. But choosing to have children out of wedlock repeatedly is a totally different story. I meet people like this and for the life of me can’t understand it. Okay, you get pregnant once. But to continue to have children out of wedlock is just selfish. Plus, you have those women that want to be a mom but say they don’t need a man. Again, completely selfish.

I feel for the parent that assumed she was in a great relationship and is now forced to do it by herself (which HER is usually the case) because the daddy was merely a sperm donor. Having kids as a married person is tough, so raising a kid by yourself is even tougher. But I have no sympathy for the one that thought after knowing a guy 6 months she wanted to have his baby.

I also wonder what is really a single parent. In my opinion, it’s not about living together. If one parent gets the kid every weekend and summers, pays child support, picks the kid up from soccer practice and doctor’s appointments, then the person isn’t much of a “single” parent. I have a family member that loves to say that she’s a single parent, but the father sees the kid every other day because he’s involved in his child’s life. That’s not single parenting, that’s co-parenting. I really wish all parents could handle their responsibilities that maturely.

Jeff

April 27th, 2011
3:30 pm

If I go down this road, I’m going to piss off most of you and the single moms and dads on HERE are not the problem.

JJ

April 27th, 2011
3:42 pm

Oh Come Jeff – lay it on us…..

Enemas for the Needy

April 27th, 2011
3:50 pm

BOOOO Jeff!…..Or maybe YAAAYYYY Jeff!

Tell us what’s on your mind, then choose one of the above reactions.

Chris

April 27th, 2011
3:53 pm

I choose to be a single parent. At 38 I did not have any prospects for a husband and wanted a child. Thank you modern medicine! I am lucky that my parents supported me in my decision (Mom was actually the one to say “if you want to …”) and that they are close by to help. On the other hand, Mom has said that she raised her two kids and she is not a permanent baby sitter.

I am comfortable in my life, I have a decent job, and saved money before my daughter came. How hard is it? How hard does one make it? I had to/have to put her down to do things. I don’t follow behind her constantly and she is showing her independence. I have left her in the bath tub to take something to the other room. The best way to cope is to have family/friends that will give you that 1-2 hrs of me time for shopping/cleaning/cooking/sleeping etc occasionally. I have even paid a baby sitter to watch her while I baked Christmas cookies. Good for her and good for the neighborhood kid.

Do I relish that I am a single parent? No. I would much rather have been in a stable relationship. Unfortunately that was not in the cards and I played the hand that I was dealt.

P.S. I enjoy reading the regulars on this blog. You have made me smile, laugh and think. Here’s to you all.

madmommy

April 27th, 2011
4:42 pm

I am with Jeff on this one, it’s better if I keep quiet and not say anything on the topic.

Being a parent is one of the hardest jobs a person can do. Just leave it at that. I pray every morning when I wake up for the guidence and patience to do a great job and every night that I didn’t screw anything up.

DB

April 27th, 2011
4:57 pm

Does 1 in 4 raised by single parent surprise you? Does it surprise you it’s more than developing nations? Which factors do you think are the main cause for this phenomenon? How can American reverse the trend?

No — this society has sexualized its young people at such an early age to such an extent that they do not look at sex as an intimate sharing of love and affection. It’s expected, and has become little more than an athletic event, and the kids are so self-absorbed, they can only think of their own “needs”, and aren’t able to consider the long-term needs of their child. (Hell, if they were able to consider long-term consequences, maybe they wouldn’t have gotten pregnant in the first place.) Plus, so many of the single parents (and I will say mothers, since most of them are the mothers) are, themselves, from single-parent families. They don’t know any better. They grow up thinking it’s ok. There’s day care and schools and government subsidies for rent and food. THERE ARE NO CONSEQUENCES TO HAVING A BABY OUT OF WEDLOCK.

How can you help couples marry for life?

Couple have to have the idea that it IS possible to marry for life. So many of them look around at their own families, celebrities, etc., and all they see is divorce after divorce. A marriage license and a divorce should be harder to get than a driver’s license. It’s part of the “me” cult — as long as someone puts their personal happiness ahead of all other considerations, the concept of “commitment” will only be a fairytale.

Do you really think more support when kids are born would make a difference?

NO. Heck, that’s one of the reasons the rate is so high now! Subsidized rent, government handouts on food, insurance, school, etc. — damn, I wish I had had the same support for getting married, staying married and raising the number of kids I could afford.

Would you encourage more birth control for teens to prevent out of wedlock babies?

Do you really think that they need more encouragement? Free condoms, cut-rate birth control, etc., etc., etc. You don’t think they know what birth control is? I think they do — it’s just that they have a severe case of “it can’t possibly happen to ME,” and are always inexplicably astonished when biology and Mother Nature end up doing what they were meant to do. You’ve got guys strutting around as prolific “baby daddies” — they have no interest in birth control.

What are the best ways for single parents to cope when they are alone raising a child?

No answer on this one — haven’t been there.

What are the best ways for single parents to cope when they are alone raising a child?

April 27th, 2011
5:09 pm

…JJ said it best – and I applaud her for it; after chasing the child’s daddy (her ex) through the courts (with no success), she ” dug in my heels and did what I had to do to raise this child”. THAT, is what you do…

No Fat Chicks

April 27th, 2011
5:12 pm

Maybe if we quit treating men like a necessary evil and gave them value as fathers and husbands this wouldn’t be so prevalent. :(

abc

April 27th, 2011
5:48 pm

The causes of an increase in single parenthood are rather plain, in my opinion.

People are more self-centered these days. Why would someone choose to be a single parent, if they considered the child’s welfare beforehand? A child born into a single parent household by the parent’s choice has every right to be upset about it. How selfish and self-centered would a mother have to be to do that? It doesn’t matter to them; they simply wanted a baby.

Promiscuity has gradually become more acceptable. Media reinforces this constantly. Child Internet addicts and compulsive television viewers get bombed with this stuff so much, it seems more like real life to them than real life does. They grow up with a warped sense of values.

Broken out by race, it’s 20% white, 50% hispanic and almost 80% AA babies are born to unwed mothers every year. Most of those mothers are 21 or younger. It represents part of our growing cultural malaise.

As usual, it is ALL the man's fault...

April 27th, 2011
8:37 pm

…they just can’t help themselves and FORCE all those young AA females to spread their legs in order to make a “baby daddy”…which begs the old question – if a man is all alone in the woods and is talking about anything, and no one is there to hear him, is he still wrong?

melissa

April 27th, 2011
9:04 pm

@as usual…what do you mean AA?!?!? Have you not seen the shoe 16 & pregnant/teen mom. those look like WHITE teens to me. when ppl talk abt race and give percentages it’s misleading. there are more AA but less of us so of course the percentages make it look worse. It doesn’t matter what race you are a single parent is a single parent. I’m black and my soon to be ex-husband is white, so what do you have to say about me. I had a child at 18, GRADUATED from h.s. with honors and graduated from State with TWO degrees. I got married and had another child 8 yrs later. What negative mess do you high mighty white ppl have to say????

What do you have to say abt the teens that had a pregnancy pact? WHITE GIRLS…what a shock. You racist ppl kill me!!!!!!!!!

Warrior Woman

April 27th, 2011
9:35 pm

In general, I agree with abc. I have nothing but respect for people that become single parents through being widowed or other means over which they had no control. However, some of the single-by-divorce parents are single parents for insanely selfish reasons. And those that choose to be single parents, either explicitly or by ignoring basic facts of life (such as unprotected sex is likely to result in pregnancy), and then complain about their lot drive me nuts.

Terry O’Neill from NOW is ignoring the facts when she says being a single parent isn’t the problem. Being a single parent is not the best option for the children.

RJ

April 27th, 2011
9:38 pm

@abc, where do you get these statistics? Don’t believe the hype!

mom2alex&max

April 27th, 2011
10:10 pm

RJ: I saw those same statistics from the CDC. Although the AA unwed birth rate is actually closer to 72%. It’s still amazingly high. Surely we are not denying that there are extremely high percentages of AA children being born of unwed mothers are we?

And Melissa, there’s no need to get mad about it. The numbers speak for themselves. You can argue right, wrong, causes, consequences, whatever. But the numbers don’t change.

shaggy

April 28th, 2011
6:24 am

Chris,

Sorry, but yes, I do have a problem with selfish conception, where the single parent by definition only, brings a human being into the world just because THEY want it. No matter if there is money available, that child has been willfully denied 1/2 of their very heritage.
I love science, but sometimes they do get it wrong, and doctors that provide this “easy bake single mom service”, which of course is expensive and enriching for the doctor, is no doctor at all. That doctor has broken their hippocratic oath to do no harm. They have harmed the child and denied it something special…connection to both parents. if my mom had done this to me, yes, I would have grown up, but I would have despised her willful actions that deprived me of my father.

The other ones, the ones that go out and willfully find a flesh and blood sperm donor, are just as selfish. These are usually lower income, with little resources. The baby daddy doesn’t pay a dime or care for his offspring, and the baby momma knew it going in…she just thinks babies are soooooo cute, or a ticket on to the welfare dole. These are usually embraced by the direct family, and paid for by guess who…..Tax Payers. These also tend to work in multiples, with whatever low life sperm donor is walking into their sorry lives at the moment.

Gtmom

April 28th, 2011
7:18 am

Chris, I would have taken a single mother like you anyday over the one I got. You actually wanted your child. And if I had been in your same shoes… I might have done the same thing. Nothing in this world means more to me than being Mother and Wife. If I couldn’t have been married, I still would have such a strong desire to have babies. My husband once told me after the birth of our second son…you may be a great engineer, you are a fantastic mother. Awww.. and I loved him even more for that statement. Anyway, I was lucky. I met the love of my life (love him even more now – going on 13 years) and was give the gift of children. It would be easy for me to say that only married people should have children…but I am in those other shoes. If I was coming up on the end of my childbearing years without a husband, I know that I would want to experience the whole miracle of children with such a fierce desire. It would be hard to supress that.

RJ

April 28th, 2011
8:12 am

@mom, I don’t believe it AT ALL! I have yet to read anything positive with statistics regarding blacks. It’s ridiculous. I don’t have any black friends, family members or co-workers that are having kids out of wedlock. If it were really that high, surely ONE person would be single that I know. It’s all a bunch of hogwash. Believe what you will. According to “statistical data” black people can do no right. Like I always say, look at who’s putting out the “data”. Enough said.

shaggy

April 28th, 2011
8:13 am

Gtmom,

You know, my own mother, bless her soul, had a terrible, abusive, poverty stricken childhood, where her parents did not want, or could not afford her. After multiple times running away from that environment, she was finally raised be her aunt and uncle, in depression stricken west Texas dust hole.
She overcame that environment and had a family, that she loved BECAUSE she had endured that environment. She never blamed her parents, said it built her character and showed her what was to become important in her life. She and my father were married for 57 years when she passed away. They were the only lovers either of them had for their entire lives. No, it wasn’t always smooth, but they did it together, or as together as they could.
Point: As soon as this country returns to some kind of value, besides the culture of “me”, this voluntary single mom thing will perpetuate and continue to damage kids that really should have two parents for all phases of their childhood, even into adulthood.
It ain’t perfect, but what is?

RJ

April 28th, 2011
8:15 am

@mom, believe what you want. We as black people know what’s really going on in our neighborhoods. Since none of my friends, co-workers or family members are having kids out of wedlock, I refuse to believe such hogwash. I can argue with numbers all day because it’s false. Believe what you will. I will not argue with anyone on this because it’s useless. According to “statistical data” nothing that happens with black people is positive. But, consider the source. Enough said.

shaggy

April 28th, 2011
8:16 am

Correction:

“As soon as this country returns”

Should be “Until this country returns”

Becky

April 28th, 2011
8:20 am

@shaggy..I disagree about the two parent family..I had a “Dad” up till he passed away when I was 34..Didn’t make any of us kids happy to have him..He never wanted any of us (our opinion), he never did anything for us, never talked to any of us and never worked to support us..But, I grew up hearing my Mother tell us that you need to respect him, you need to love him, you need to blah, blah, blah, because he’s your Dad..Oh please, spare me the drama..

Out of ten kids, I don’t think any of us can honestly tell you that we loved our “Dad”..In fact, I think all of us would tell you that we would of been better off if he had of just left..But no, that wasn’t going to happen because him and my Mother were from the old school that you married until death do you part..Pure BS for some people..I would of much rather been raised by a single Mom without a “Dad” anywhere near me..

shaggy

April 28th, 2011
8:31 am

Becky,

Touche’. I know that it ain’t perfect by any stretch, but is that imperfection a reason to condone “starting” a family with one parent, willfully?
I can never agree with that.

justmy2cents

April 28th, 2011
8:54 am

Does 1 in 4 raised by single parent surprise you? Does it surprise you it’s more than developing nations?
Nope, doesn’t surprise me at all when I see all the pregnant teenagers. In a lot of other countries, they are WAY more strict on their children…dishonor upon the family, all of that.

Which factors do you think are the main cause for this phenomenon? How can American reverse the trend? Sex :o) I guarantee that is the main culprit LOL Not sure we can reverse it. I agree with the other comments of everything is sexualized at way too early an age. Until we can teach our daughters (young and old) to value themselves enough to say no and that there is so much more to life than just having to have a bf, and not to fall for the “but baby I love you” crap, we are kinda hopeless.

How can you help couples marry for life?
You can’t. Not rushing into marriage is key. There should be a law in place you can’t get married til you are at least 30! People are too immature in their 20’s. I was one of those idiots, and ended up divorced and a single parent. He doesn’t pay his child support, doesn’t call, visit, etc. Luckily I was smart enough to grow up and wait til the right man came along vs. Mr. Right Now. People need to realize that dating does NOT have to lead to marriage.

Do you really think more support when kids are born would make a difference? Nope.

Would you encourage more birth control for teens to prevent out of wedlock babies? Sure, mandatory IUDs or long term injections would be a great start.

What are the best ways for single parents to cope when they are alone raising a child?
Be like Nike….Just Do It! It is all you can do, been there, done that…don’t care to repeat it.

45 y/o Mom

April 28th, 2011
10:01 am

JJ & FCM are the exception to the rule. Most single parents make that choice for themselves. Much of it due to self centeredness of our society. Kids today also don’t respect adults (parents or teachers) nor do they care about what others think of them. Individuality, independence and diversity are all coveted by today’s teens.

There were a very small percentage of teen moms when I was growing up. I also find it curious that now than abortions are easier to obtain, we seem to be seeing less of them and girls chhosing to have babies, even in our prochoice society.

I have to admit that I would have never gotten pregnant out of wedlock. I was and still am one of those indivuals that didn’t want to disappoint anyone or embarass myself. I had aspirations of doing things the “traditional way”, and it would have devastated me to have done something like getting pregnant AND having a baby when I was not ready. When I hear the phrase today, “I don’t care what others think” – I can believe it. Call me boring and a conformist, but my life has turned out pretty good living by that philosophy and being fearful.

HB

April 28th, 2011
10:32 am

“Most single parents make that choice for themselves.”

Really? Please share where you got your stats because most single parents I know did not plan to be single parents.

Economy

April 28th, 2011
10:46 am

“Really? Please share where you got your stats because most single parents I know did not plan to be single parents.”

Perception is reality. I know exactly what 45 is saying. Many single mom’s our family knows are divorced because they wanted to be – no abuse, neglect cheating and they will proudly tell you so. They just simply gave up married life for freedom, left hubby and wanted the kids, control and money (even though their is none). I know of 2 woman that cheated on their husbands and didn’t want their kids and gave them to hubby. Seems like a bad economy is bringing out the worst in people. The entitlement mentality is now a disease. People are making rash decsions about what they want this very minute with grandeous and false dreams about their future. It is also sad when they want their ex-spuse back and the ex wants no part of it.

HB

April 28th, 2011
10:54 am

” I know of 2 woman that cheated on their husbands and didn’t want their kids and gave them to hubby.”

I think you made my point here. The single parents with primary responsibility for the kids in these cases are the dads, and they did not become single parents by choice.

Gtmom

April 28th, 2011
11:06 am

Shaggy.. Lucky for me, I have forgiven my mother. I call her once a week and usually do a little prayer that she is not high or drunk so that we can talk. Unlucky for her, she has not forgiven herself which drives her addiction even more so. I would not change my life. I don’t know if I would totally appreciate what I have if it did not go through what I did. But.. not everyone “gets out.” Two of my siblings are repeating the same mistakes and it is sad. I think of their beautiful children and I am sad for them. I don’t feel sad for Chris’ child. She seems to have it all together even if she is single. Raising kids by yourself has to be tough.. but I can’t say I wouldn’t do the same thing.. the natural instinct to be mother is so strong inside of me. And.. even though my religion is totally against it. I have not been in her shoes and I can’t say that I wouldn’t do it myself.

Developing countries have children who get married…at the age of 12 (in some cases).. and they stay together even when the father abuses the child or mother. Of course their rates of single mothers are lower. Heck, they are married even before they have sexual urges!

catlady

April 28th, 2011
12:22 pm

For some understanding about people who choose to have children without marriage, see the book, “Promises I can Keep.”

A single parent does 4X the work (if they do a good job) of a parent in a two-parent home.

I am in favor of sterilization of those who have more than one baby without being able to provide for it. Yes, this means it falls disproportionately on the women, but it falls to us to keep from getting pregnant. Baby upon baby with no chance of supporting it–we simply cannot support it anymore, nor should we.

jarvis

April 28th, 2011
1:13 pm

Forced sterilization? I’m going to go out on a limb, and say that’s probably an infringement on a few Constitutional rights.

JJ

April 28th, 2011
1:27 pm

Any one who is on government assistance (Read welfare) should only be allowed one child. After that, sterlize them.

Also, I believe all “welfare” receipants should be drug tested on a monthly basis.

Techmom

April 28th, 2011
2:08 pm

Doubt that will ever happen JJ… too many ethical issues to consider- even though those who are having multiple babies out of wedlock or without the means to support them are being unethical IMO. But 2 wrongs don’t make a right. I do think that long-term birth control should be an automatic for any mother who has a baby while on welfare (i.e. Norplant, IUD, etc) and that sterilization should be offered to both the mom and the dad. If a “dad” is willing to walk out on one child, no doubt, he’ll do it again.

Denise

April 28th, 2011
3:17 pm

I’m in the same boat as Chris, I just haven’t left the dock yet. I’m 38, unmarried, childless and I want so badly to be a mother. I can take care of a child financially and if I decided to go the adoption or sperm donor route, I would consider moving home near family for support and, selfishly, to make sure my kid doesn’t miss out on all the spoiling my brother’s kids get. :-) Or maybe not. As all the single-parent-not-by-choice folks have said, you do what you have to do. I would meet with my financial advisor to see what I would need to cut back on and what kinds of things I would need to have in place (life insurance, wills, etc.) to make sure my child would be cared for in the manner he/she would deserve to be cared for. Is that selfish? To some, maybe, but I don’t care, really. Oh, and for the record, I did and DO have a father in my life so it’s not a matter of never seeing a man in the home. This is a matter of not wanting my eggs to be scrambled by the time I get married and being unable to have children.

And let’s not forget something. Not all people on welfare are the unwashed masses – the trifling baby mamas and baby daddies who keep having children with different people, etc. or whatever yall keep referring to. In this economy, there are some people who have had to get on assistance just to make it – people who were doing well 5 years ago. Everybody getting assistance is not trying to get over. Granted, a lot of them are and it pisses me off just like it pisses a lot of you off. I have plenty of ideas on how the welfare system needs to be changed (nobody cares what I think!). I say all that to say, we need to stop making blanket statements when every situation is not the same.

lwa

April 28th, 2011
5:40 pm

@ JJ.. I think that every person who receives any type of government payment (congress, police officers, people on welfare, government workers, etc) should be drug tested. I don’t want any of my government money spend on drugs

catlady

April 30th, 2011
7:59 pm

Yeah, I know about the “constitutional rights” but at what point are the rights of the rest of us being infringed upon by paying for these babies of irresponsible people? “Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness” should include everyone, and I can tell you I don’t feel too happy with all the support I pay for other people’s kids.

I am a teacher in a rural, lower income area. Three fourths of the kids are on free meals. Many, many of their parents are not just “going through a rough patch” unless the rough patch has lasted 10 or more years. At some point we have to give folks an incentive to behave responsibly, which means not only not rewarding their poor decisions, but perhaps even punishing the poor decisions, since we all pay for them.

Painting with a broad brush? Somewhat. I am a single parent myself, by divorce. Haven’t accepted any government help except student loans (which I will be paying for for the rest of my life) to increase my earning/providing/taxpaying ability. I have devoted myself to raising my children, forgoing a great deal for myself in order to do so. I get really annoyed at all the “disabled” folks in my community (a bad back, for example) who aren’t too “disabled” to procreate, but cannot hold even a desk job and take care of their families. I get annoyed at mothers who have 6 or more children by a series of men. I get annoyed with folks who have money for cell phones but not notebook paper and a pencil.

Things “happen,” but that is no reason for them to “just happen” over and over and over again. At some point, we have to REQUIRE responsible behavior from adults, if their pride doesn’t require it of them.

Jack

May 2nd, 2011
4:17 pm

Many single parents can improve their live by sharing with others ,to eliminate the need for day care and free up their time and bring add income.

For a free report on home sharing http://www.mysharedplace.com