Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

The Human Toll Behind Out-of-Wedlock Births

Posted by   + Show Post


The Human Toll Behind Out-of-Wedlock Births


The numbers are staggering. Out of 120,000 live births in New York City in 2010, more than 54,000 babies were born out of wedlock. The human toll behind the numbers is devastating. Children raised without two parents face much higher odds in every facet of life. It’s as if they are forced to swim with one hand tied behind their backs. Some succeed, most don’t.

Now comes the good news. Mayor Bloomberg is trying to do something about this preventable tragedy.


In a bid to further discourage teen pregnancies, City Hall is plastering a series of provocative ads on subways and bus shelters. With heart-rending shots of distressed children, the posters aim to shock boys and girls into thinking about the consequences of making babies too early in life.

“Dad, you’ll be paying to support me for the next 20 years,” large text says next to one baby boy. A yellow slash serves as a footnote: “Think being a teen parent won’t cost you? NY state law requires a parent to pay child support until a child is 21.”

Another ad features a little girl who says, “Honestly Mom, chances are he won’t stay with you. What happens to me?”

In smaller type, it adds, “90 percent of teen parents don’t marry each other.”

It is a bold program, in message and mere existence. Out-of-wedlock births represent a national epidemic, and the city’s track record is worse. Like clockwork, about 45 percent of live births in the city are born to single mothers each year, against a national rate of 41 percent.

As I wrote in January when I learned the ad campaign was in the works, Bloomberg once rejected my suggestion that he tackle the problem by saying, “You know it’s something we can’t touch,” presumably because of the racial implications. Nationally, 73 percent of black children are born to single mothers.

But the mayor decided he could touch the problem, and deserves praise for leading the way. Perhaps someone pointed out to him that being born out of wedlock is a greater handicap for children than having too many sugary drinks or even smoking.

Children with only one parent do worse in school, are more likely to commit crimes and be poor. They often pass the disadvantages to another generation by having their own children outside of marriage.

My only quibble with the ad campaign is that it focuses on teens, despite the fact that births by unmarried teen mothers represent only 12 percent of the out-of-wedlock total, or about 6,600 in 2010. Most come when the mother is between ages 20 and 29.

Yet with the posters so visible on mass transit, and with social-media efforts to come, it will be hard for any New Yorker to miss the message. That’s fine with Robert Doar, the human-resources commissioner, who pushed for the campaign.

“The implications are similar in terms of the message we want to get out,” Doar told me yesterday. “It’s focused on those who are young, unmarried and out of work.”

Indeed, the crux of the campaign is summed up in a poster that says, “If you finish high school, get a job and get married before having children, you have a 98% chance of not being in poverty.”

Not incidentally, nearly 90 percent of teen births are covered by Medicaid or other programs funded by taxpayers.

Before it launched the ads, the city held focus groups to test the messages. One theme that emerged was that many teens had, as Doar put it, “a higher sense of confidence about their ability to be successful parents than the facts justified.”

“We wanted to push back on that and expose the overconfidence,” he said. “We want people to understand how hard and complicated it is in the long run.”

This being a touchy-feely era, the children on posters are a Noah’s ark of races and ethnicity. Although there is no mention of abortion, the city, in schools, clinics and through the 311 system, offers condoms, contraceptives and morning-after pills.

The ad campaign will cost about $350,000 and run for more than a month. It’s probably too small for its effectiveness to be judged, so here’s hoping Bloomberg will fund a follow-up.

One idea is to go straight at the advantage of marriage and get churches involved. Parents who get married are more likely to stay together than those who don’t and, all other things being equal, that’s far better for children.

Given the stakes, it’s worth a try.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2013/03/06/the_human_toll_behind_out-of-wedlock_births_303353.html

by on May. 11, 2013 at 12:26 PM
Replies (31-40):
PinkButterfly66
by Silver Member on May. 11, 2013 at 2:20 PM
2 moms liked this

I would be more impressed with this article if the issue were teen moms, not single moms which encompasses adult females.  Michael Goodwin has no business sticking his nose in the adult female bedroom, vagina or anywhere else.  If he wants to curtail teen pregnancy, I'm all for that.  But it sounds like a patriarchal misogynistic diatribe, and he can go suck rocks.

kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 11, 2013 at 2:20 PM
I've seen these ads. It feels like they're telling teen moms to get abortions, or teen dads to push for them, because the pictures are of several months old children if not older. I do not care for Bloomberg. I know he ran as a Republican, but he is anything but conservative.
kailu1835
by Ruby Member on May. 11, 2013 at 2:23 PM
1 mom liked this
My first son was born out of wedlock. I dare anyone to tell my husband, who was his sole care giver for the first 3 days of life, minus the time it took me to nurse him, that I was a single mother.

Quoting ACDC_fan:

????
Born out of wedlock does not necessarily mean "father is out of the picture". That is just stupid. Not everyone wants to get married, so what.

 not all kids end up in those statistics.

meriana
by Gold Member on May. 11, 2013 at 2:56 PM

Quoting parentalrights1:

Teen sex is not accepted


Quoting meriana:

Children born out of wedlock is something that is very accepted in today's society, just as is young teens having sex and any number of other things. Generally speaking, the more accepted by society as a whole something is, the more prevalent it becomes.


Maybe not in the eyes of many adults, however teens lack maturity and look at things differently. Schools teaching that IF they decide to have sex at least have "safe sex"; availability of bc and abortion without parental knowledge let alone consent; schools that provide day-care centers for teen moms; there are a lot of things that teens tend to see as "it's ok if I have sex, it's acceptable". How many times have we heard the phrase, "well they're going to do it anyway", which if one thinks about it is as much a form of acceptance as it is anything else. The fact is that society in general accepts a teenager having a child and since that is acceptable, then teens having sex is also generally accepted by society. How else did that teen end up with that child. Many do not like the idea of a teen having a child or having sex, especially young teens but not liking something is not the same as society generally being ok with and condoning it. The pervading idea seems to be that they're going to do it anyway so lets provide them with everything possible to hopefully keep them from having a child and lets make those things available to them without parental knowledge. To a teen, that says it's perfectly ok for them to be having sex if they choose to do so. I don't know what the answer is and I don't think anyone else does either but as long as society in general goes along with something and/or through actions taken is seen as condoning it, whatever it is (in the context of this post, teens and even older women having children outside of marriage), that thing will become more prevalent.
Carpy
by Ruby Member on May. 11, 2013 at 3:01 PM
2 moms liked this
Generally when you post such stats you open a Pandoras box here.

Quoting momto3B:

Glad to see that this issue is being addressed. 

momto3B
by Bronze Member on May. 11, 2013 at 3:09 PM
2 moms liked this

Of course a topic like this would be strongly felt here, there are many teenage and single mothers. No one really wants to believe that their lives are part of negative statistics. 

Even the mother's who need PA before their children are born, who may not have even had a real relationship with the child's father, don't seem to understand what they are up against. 


Quoting Carpy:

Generally when you post such stats you open a Pandoras box here.

Quoting momto3B:

Glad to see that this issue is being addressed. 



Carpy
by Ruby Member on May. 11, 2013 at 3:14 PM
Yes it does the stats are backed by support orders and welfare stats.

Quoting Jack_Squat:

What I'm saying is, does that number take into consideration the amount of parents who live together? The number of people choosing not to get married is drastically rising.




Quoting Talee:


Quoting Jack_Squat:

I think the 54, 000 whatever is misleading. A baby born out of wedlock doesn't necessarily mean it's being raised without its father.

This is true too.

I was married ten years but even just being divorced and dad is around (some) it's still hard.


lga1965
by Ruby Member on May. 11, 2013 at 3:16 PM
1 mom liked this

 This also made a big impression on me.

The overconfidence comes from a sort of defensiveness and not knowing what it is really like .....to young girls,the only  future that they anticipate is of cuddling a baby and dressing it in cute clothes. And relying on parents (grandparents) to help them out with child care and money.

Quoting futureshock:

This part jumped out at me:

Before it launched the ads, the city held focus groups to test the messages. One theme that emerged was that many teens had, as Doar put it, “a higher sense of confidence about their ability to be successful parents than the facts justified.”

“We wanted to push back on that and expose the overconfidence,” he said. “We want people to understand how hard and complicated it is in the long run.”

 

Carpy
by Ruby Member on May. 11, 2013 at 3:18 PM
1 mom liked this
Yet women who do the same thing get your seal of approval. Why do you want to slut shame boys but not girls?

Quoting parentalrights1:

Might help too if we stop teaching boys to associate manliness with scoring. Then maybe they wouldn't seeking every opportunity to have sex
Carpy
by Ruby Member on May. 11, 2013 at 3:19 PM
4 moms liked this
This is a truly ignorant fucking comment.

Quoting eviesmom453:

Let's just face it.. A baby born out of wedlock is doomed and a waste of oxygen. Right, OP?

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)



Featured