… According to the U.S. Census Bureau, in 2017, 19.7 million children, more than 1 in 4, live without a father in the home. As fathers.com puts it: “If it were classified as a disease, fatherlessness would be an epidemic worthy of attention as a national emergency.”
The sperm-donors, by their absence in their children’s lives, are responsible for a whole host of their children’s problems and social ills….
- More than half (57.6%) of America’s black children lived absent their biological fathers.
- 31.2% of Hispanic children and 20.7% of white children lived in fatherless homes.
Why the racial disparity? Here’s one reason:
Racial and Ethnic Disparity in State PrisonsAfrican Americans are incarcerated in state prisons across the country at more than five times the rate of whites, and at least ten times the rate in five states. This report documents the rates of incarceration for whites, African Americans, and Hispanics in each state, identifies three contributors to racial and ethnic disparities in imprisonment, and provides recommendations for reform….
The midwife clipped the umbilical cord and handed me this new little being. He was all wet and wrinkled, and I held him to my chest, wanting to wrap him in my body and arms and keep him warm and safe. So precious. I offered his little hand my finger and he clutched it, each perfect little fingernail staring up at me, each little knuckle formed by minute folds of beautiful pink skin. My world was transformed—later I realized that it wasn’t only my world. I myself became a new person in the process.
Midwives, fathers and mothers all agree that dads should participate in childbirth. They are less clear, however, about why dads should be there. Do fathers really ease birthing for mothers? Is there a moral obligation to accompany mothers on their passage? Do babies need fathers to hold them while mothers recuperate? My own introduction to birthing made one thing perfectly clear. In addition to all the other good reasons for fathers’ presence at birth, it was a wonderful way for me and my son to begin our lives together.
Participating in labor, witnessing birth, and holding his new baby have a profound effect on a father. For the last several years I’ve been interviewing men for a study on childbirth rituals, and I have discovered that almost all fathers talk about the power of the experience of participating in birth and how it affects their identities and relationships with their babies.
Science is documenting what fathers already know: Being at birth lays the groundwork for a man’s lifelong relationship with his baby. The first minutes become part of a powerful and permanent bond between the two. Later, long hours together spent cuddling and playing will help mold a permanent tie that they will depend on throughout life….