Friday, April 17, 2009

Out-of-wedlock births hit record high

Selections from Out-of-wedlock births hit record high by Jessica Ravitz, CNN

Nearly 40 percent of babies born in the United States in 2007 were delivered by unwed mothers, according to data released last month by the National Center for Health Statistics. The 1.7 million out-of-wedlock births, of 4.3 million total births, marked a more than 25 percent jump from five years before.

Statistics such as these, which include for the second year in a row a bump in teen pregnancies, after a 14-year decline [provide] increased likelihood of poverty and greater high school dropout rates.

Other data released last month showed the percentage of unwed mothers differs from race to race. While 28 percent of white women gave birth out of wedlock in 2007, nearly 72 percent of black women and more than 51 percent of Latinas did.

According to a 2008 survey by the U.S. Census Bureau, there are 9.8 million single mothers versus 1.8 million single fathers.

When California Cryobank, which claims to be the world's largest sperm bank, opened its doors in the late 1970s, 99 percent of its business catered to couples grappling with male infertility. Now, that market in the sperm donor world accounts for less than 14 percent.

About 50,000 women delivering babies each year are single moms by choice, said Mikki Morrissette, author of "Choosing Single Motherhood: The Thinking Woman's Guide," and founder of the online resource Choice Moms.

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