Fathers disappear from households across America
Nicole Hawkins‘ three daughters have matching glittery boots, but none has the same father. Each has uniquely colored ties in her hair, but none has a dad present in her life.
As another single mother on Sumner Road decked her row-house stoop with Christmas lights and a plastic Santa, Ms. Hawkins recalled that her middle child’s father has never spent a holiday or birthday with her. In her neighborhood in Southeast Washington, 1 in 10 children live with both parents, and 84 percent live with only their mother.
In every state, the portion of families where children have two parents, rather than one, has dropped significantly over the past decade. Even as the country added 160,000 families with children, the number of two-parent households decreased by 1.2 million. Fifteen million U.S. children, or 1 in 3, live without a father, and nearly 5 million live without a mother. In 1960, just 11 percent of American children lived in homes without fathers.
America is awash in poverty, crime, drugs and other problems, but more than perhaps anything else, it all comes down to this, said Vincent DiCaro, vice president of the National Fatherhood Initiative: Deal with absent fathers, and the rest follows. >>>
The near-total absence of male role models has ripped a hole the size of half the population in urban areas.
Thank LBJ and his war on poverty to really get the ball rolling in the most significant way.
They waive fees in Michigan, if a foster parent or relative is adopting a kid from the foster care system, because we consider it more important to have a permanent outcome for the child than to keep working with parents who are never going to get it together in time to raise the child.
The other situation would be tricky in Michigan, too. I work in the FC system, so I've never worked on a private adoption situation. I would guess that the adoptive parent would at least pay the court costs and his or her own legal fees, and it might still have to go through an agency.
It's ironic-the juvenile law advocacy groups sued us during Granholm's administration, when the main problem was that we didn't have enough workers to meet the demands of the children. Now, we have to do all kinds of other crap just to make the lawyers happy, that has nothing to do with the well-being of the children and everything to do with unnecessary paperwork. I can't believe these idiots have not gone after states like yours, that don't have laws mandating a time frame for parents to get it together before their rights are terminated or laws that ensure that repeat-offenders lose custody of their children at birth (very useful with drug addicted parents).
It will be a losing battle. It has become completely acceptable - even chic - for young women to have children before they are married, and before their education is complete. The media is often complicit in that they dare anyone to "tell a woman what they can do with their body".
I heard a fairly well known black woman interviewed on the radio and she over and over declared that she would not be made to be ashamed about what she does "with her body". The interviewer never once asked her to explain what she meant, and it was assumed she meant having a child whenever she feels like it, whether she can afford it or not.
No, I'm afraid that bird has flown, and we will never again see the time when most children come from a nuclear family. It has nothing to do with anyone's body, of course, and quite a lot to do with the resources of someone's country.
This is throughout my 25 year career working with foster and delinquent kids:
Teen girls I work with almost always ask if I have kids. When I tell them no, they usually ask "Why?". I tell them that I've never been married. When they hear that, they usually say "That doesn't matter", to which I respond "It matters to me".
Of course, they laugh at me until they have babies. After that, they can't laugh at me without peeing a few drops.
"I don't have children because I am not married and cannot afford to rear them properly on my salary. If I were wealthy it would make no difference because I could then afford the extra expense of a child. The fastest road to poverty is to have a child before your education is complete and your career is established."
Just a suggestion. After all, some young girl might - just might - "hear you".
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