The rise in single parenthood in the U.S. is well-known. Today, nearly a third of all children born in the United States are born to unmarried parents; the proportions are even higher among poor and minority populations--40 percent among Hispanics and 70 percent among African Americans. Yet, we know very little about these families, particularly about the fathers. Consequently, much of what we read in the newspapers or hear on television about unwed parents is based on anecdotal rather than scientific evidence. This policy brief is intended to dispel three common myths about unwed fathers and their children. We refer to unmarried parents and their children as "fragile families" to underscore that they are families and that they are at greater risk of breaking up and living in poverty than more traditional families. (Author abstract).
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