There is a crisis in America. According to the US Census Bureau, 24 million children in America—one out of three—live without their biological father in the home. Consequently, there is a “father factor” in nearly all of the societal ills facing America today. Research shows when a child is raised in a father-absent home, he or she is affected in the following ways…
Just as a woman becomes a mother when she gets pregnant, so a man becomes a father when he partners with her to conceive that child–even if having a baby was the last thing on his mind and even if he isn’t aware of the pregnancy. With every young pregnant woman stepping through our doors, the father of that baby could possibly come through that door with her. Fathers, you are welcome here. We have people here who understand you too, and we want to encourage you. You are not alone.
Four Times More Likely to Live in Poverty: Children in father-absent homes are almost four times more likely to be poor.
(U.S. Census Bureau)
More Likely to Suffer Emotional and Behavioral Problems: Children of single mothers show higher levels of aggressive behavior than children born to married mothers.
(Journal of Marriage and Family)
Two Times Greater Risk of Infant Mortality: Infant mortality rates are nearly two times higher for infants of unmarried mothers than for married mothers.
(National Center for Health Statistics)
More Likely to go to Prison: One in five prison inmates had a father in prison. (Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs)
More Likely to Commit Crime: Study of juvenile offenders indicated that family structure significantly predicts delinquency. (Journal of Youth and Adolescence)
Seven Times More Likely to Become Pregnant as a Teen: Teens without fathers are twice as likely to be involved in early sexual activity and seven times more likely to get pregnant as an adolescent. (Child Development Journal)
More Likely to Face Abuse and Neglect: Compared to children living with married biological parents, those whose single parent had a live-in partner had more than 8 times the rate of maltreatment overall, over 10 times the rate of abuse and more than 6 times the rate of neglect. (Child's Bureau)
More Likely to Abuse Drugs and Alcohol: Youth are more at risk of first substance use without a highly involved father (Social Science Research). Adolescents whose fathers were drug abusers revealed that paternal smoking and drug use lead to strained father-child relationships.
Two Times More Likely to Suffer Obesity: Obese children are more likely to live in father-absent homes than are non-obese children. (National Longitudinal Survey of Youth)
Two Times More Likely to Drop Out of High School: Students living in father-absent homes are twice as likely to repeat a grade in school (U.S. Department of Education); father involvement in schools is associated with the higher likelihood of their children getting mostly A's (U.S. Department of Education); and in the typical elementary school classroom of 20 students, 7 of them—over 33%—are growing up without their biological father in the home. (U.S. Census Bureau)
Information & info graphic taken from The National Fatherhood Initiative
The situation involves more than just you. There are now more lives to think about.
She needs your support now more than ever. She may be carrying the baby, but you are BOTH parents, and regardless of your relationship in the future, that baby needs you too.
Not only with each other, but prepare to talk with parents and others close to the situation. Hiding the news from people who can genuinely help you only increases the stress.
Get all the facts and seek wise counsel so you can make the best decision for both of you.
It's normal to have feelings of anger, frustration and fear. However, make sure she knows she is not alone.
The more you run from this, the harder it becomes to think and act clearly.
Applying pressure will only push her away, possibly into a regretful situation. You will do well to work together as a team.
You have a very active role in this situation. Listen to input as well as give your thoughts.
Dear father or soon to be dad, be encouraged! We are here for you and, we want you to be the best dad you can be. The National Fatherhood Initiative is a national non-profit dedicated to helping us equip fathers like you. They created this free eBook to help you with your fatherhood journey by incorporating five important questions having to do with being a great dad:
Use this eBook to help you and the dads around you connect with their child in a more meaningful way.