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Almost Half of U.S. Births Happen Outside Marriage, Signaling Cultural Shift

According to an annual report released on Wednesday by the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), 40% of all US births happen outside of marriage indicating cultural and economic changes. 

The article states that several factors are at play here which include a supportive welfare system, delayed motherhood, an increase in cohabiting adults, a decrease in the marriage rate, among others. 

In the EU, more births out of wedlock can be associated to the welfare systems in place that support gender-balanced care. These programs give unwed parents support beyond what a partner can provide, such as public health care systems, paid paternal leave, early education programs, and tax incentives. 

In the US, women are more likely to delay motherhood. The average age an American woman has her first child is now 27. In 1970, the average age was 22. Kelly Jones, the director for the Center on the Economics of Reproductive Health at the Institute for women’s Policy Research states that “Women are claiming their ground professionally.” she added, “Delaying motherhood is a rational decision when you consider the impact it can have on your career, and that’s contributing to this trend.”

 The study also points out that such births are predominantly to unmarried couples living together rather than to single mothers. The number of adults cohabiting has steadily risen over the years while the marriage rate has fallen. John Santelli, a professor in population, family health and pediatrics at Columbia’s Mailman School of Public Health says “Cohabiting partners are having children before getting married. That’s a long-term trend across developing nations.”  

 When couples find their relationship in dire straits, and separation seems like the best option, births outside of marriage within these relationships present a different set of challenges not found in your typical run of the mill divorce case. one key difference is the need to establish parentage between the father and child, which is a requirement in the State of Illinois.

Throughout history societal and economic changes has always spurred the creation of new laws and the abolishing of others. Vaclavek Stassen P.C. has always been on the forefront of change and we take pride in being able to adapt quickly and effectively to changes in society and what those changes bring to the legal realm. 

Vaclavek Stassen, P.C. has extensive experience handling parentage cases representing both mothers and fathers. It is our priority to work with you to ensure your rights and your children are protected.

If you find yourself in a similar situation, you are not alone. Learn how we can help you and get your questions answered today. At Vaclavek Stassen, P.C., we are by your side every step of the way.  

bloomberg.com – U.S. Births Outside of Marriage

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