About two of every three poor children live in single-parent households. Yet if poor single moms married the fathers of their children, nearly two out of three would be lifted out of poverty.
And contrary to the mainstream media line, teen pregnancy is a small part of the picture: In 2008, the most recent year for which data is available, babies born to girls under 18 accounted for 130,000, or 7.5 percent, of the total 1.72 million out-of-wedlock births.
It’s not as simple as young men “manning up” and becoming the lawfully wedded husbands of their girlfriends, live-in or otherwise. These unmarried mothers tend to be in their 20s, without much income or education. They come to depend on public assistance; many learn how to work the welfare system.
Research shows that a child raised in a home where Dad is married to Mom is much less likely to live in poverty, get arrested as a juvenile, be suspended or expelled from school, be treated for emotional or behavioral problems, or drop out before completing high school. Taxpayers foot the bill for more than $300 billion a year in means-tested government spending on low-income single moms – and, in relatively rare cases, single dads.
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Happy Father’s Day!