This paper analyzes legislative proposals that address marriage, and the potential impact on current fatherhood programs serving low-income families. The initiation of fatherhood programs following the passage of the Personal Responsibility Work Opportunities Reconciliation Act in 1996 is reviewed and current legislative proposals are described, including: the Child Support Distribution Act of 2001 and the Fathers Count Act of 1999, which combine child support reform measures with fatherhood provisions; the Strengthening Working Families Act, which contains child support distribution provisions; and an initiative by President Bush to promote responsible fatherhood and establish an Office of Marriage Initiatives. The Bush appointments of Tommy Thompson and Wade Horn are discussed as further signs of marriage promotion initiatives, and the probable incorporation of marriage promotion in welfare reform is discussed. Concern is raised that future marriage legislation could have worrisome implications for fatherhood programs that receive federal or State funds due to the effects on the funding and administration of programs. Difficulties autonomous programs could have in spending funds and designing services for the fathers they serve are considered, particularly the possibility of limiting services to two-parent families. 12 references.
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