Archive for the ‘paternity’ Category

CFRP Event – Texas Fatherhood Summit: Building the Evidence Base for Fatherhood Programs on Feb. 3

January 14, 2016events, fathers, home visiting, mothers, paternity

 

UPDATE: Find all post-event links and resources at http://www.childandfamilyresearch.org/about/texas-fatherhood-summit-2016/

_____________________________

 

Wednesday, February 3, 2016 – The University of Texas at Austin, AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center

Registration: txfatherhoodsummit.eventbrite.com

The Child and Family Research Partnership at The University of Texas at Austin’s LBJ School of Public Affairs and the Texas DFPS’ Prevention and Early Intervention division are hosting the “Texas Fatherhood Summit: Building the Evidence Base for Fatherhood Programs” in Austin, Texas. The Summit brings together researchers, policymakers, and practitioners in the field of fatherhood to exchange ideas and assess the state of fatherhood programs throughout the country.

We are honored to have national fatherhood expert Dr. Ronald Mincy as our keynote speaker. Dr. Mincy is the Director of the Center for Research on Fathers, Children and Family Well-Being and Social Policy Professor at Columbia University. He will speak on the importance of fathers in their children’s lives and why research in this field is so critical. Dr. Cynthia Osborne, Director of The University of Texas at Austin’s Child and Family Research Partnership will also present an overview of the strategies for evaluating and building a comprehensive evidence base.

The Summit will include a series of panels for perspectives from the national, state, and provider levels on what the evidence says about fatherhood programs and the impact on future policy decisions. The top national fatherhood program evaluators from Mathematica, MDRC, and the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN) will talk about what questions they are trying to answer about fathers and their preliminary findings. Policy leaders from state agencies from Texas will discuss the landscape of their state-wide fatherhood initiatives as examples for the nation. Then, fatherhood program providers will share their invaluable work of supporting fathers in the communities.

 

AGENDA 

 

 

Time

Session

7:30am – 8:45am Breakfast Provided
7:30am – 9:00am Check-In
9:00am – 10:15am Introduction:
  • Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director The University of Texas at Austin’s Child and Family Research Partnership
  • Sasha Rasco, Director of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Prevention and Early Intervention

Keynote Speaker:

  • Ron Mincy, Ph.D., Maurice V. Russell Professor of Social Policy and Social Work Practice at the Columbia University School of Social Work, and a co-principal investigator of the Fragile Families and Child Wellbeing Study

10:15am-10:30amBreak10:30am – 12 noonIntroduction to Fatherhood Program Research:

  • Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director The University of Texas at Austin’s Child and Family Research Partnership

National Panel on Fatherhood Research and Evaluation:

  • Moderated by Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D.
  • Robin Dion, Senior Fellow at Mathematica Policy Research
  • Virginia Knox, Ph.D., Director of Families and Children at MDRC
  • Jessica Pearson, Ph.D., Co-Director of the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network and Director of the Center for Policy Research

12:00pm – 1:00pmLunch Provided1:00pm  – 2:45pmState Panel on Investing in Texas Fathers:

  • Moderated by Sasha Rasco, Director of Texas Department of Family and Protective Services’ Prevention and Early Intervention
  • Krista Del Gallo, Policy Manager at the Texas Council on Family Violence
  • Noelita Lugo, Director of Family Initiatives at the Texas Office of the Attorney General
  • Nicole Murry, Healthy Texas Babies Nurse Consultant at the Texas Department of State Health Services
  • Kenneth Thompson, Fatherhood Program Specialist at the Texas Department of Family and Protective Services

2:45pm-3:00pmBreak3:00pm – 4:30pmProvider Panel on Supporting Fathers in the Communities:

  • Moderated by Michael Hayes, Senior Programs Manager at the Administration for Children and Families’ Office of Child Support Enforcement
  • Russell Booth, Fatherhood EFFECT Educator at the Child Crisis Center of El Paso
  • Martin Castaneda, Fatherhood Engagement Coordinator at UT Permian Basin’s Healthy Outcomes through Prevention and Early Support (HOPES)
  • Nakia Edwards, Assistant Director of Workforce and Family Strengthening at AVANCE Houston
  • Tommy Jordan, Executive Director at NewDay Services for Children and Families

4:30pm – 5:00pmBuilding the Evidence Base in Texas:

  • Cynthia Osborne, Ph.D., Associate Professor and Director The University of Texas at Austin’s Child and Family Research Partnership

5:00pm – 6:00pmNetworking Reception (Tejas Dining Room)

 

EVENT HASHTAGS - We encourage everyone to tweet now and during the Summit with the event hashtags: #TXdads2016 #fatherhood. You can start now and let people know you’re coming – follow/tag the Child and Family Research Partnership at @CFRPlbj and we’ll retweet you!

SUMMIT LOCATION AND ROOM - The Summit, including breakfast and lunch, will be held in the Ballroom/Salon C on the third floor of conference side of the AT&T Executive Education and Conference Center (1900 University Avenue, Austin, TX 78705). Click here for the Google Map link to AT&T. Breakfast and check-in begin at 7:30am, and the program begins at 9:00am.

PARKING - Free on-site event parking will be provided – you must park in the parking garage at AT&T. The AT&T parking garage entrance is on the north side of the building off W. 20th Street (see photo below). Please keep your paper ticket, and at check-in, it can be exchanged for a free parking pass to be used when you exit. [Please Note: Free parking passes are provided only for parking on-site at AT&T. Attendees are responsible for parking off-site in nearby garages.]

For full details and registration, go to txfatherhoodsummit.eventbrite.com.

Please contact cfrp@austin.utexas.edu  if you have questions.

 

New Published Paper in Journal of Applied Research on Children

February 10, 2015child_support, paternity

Congratulations to Dr. Cynthia Osborne and Daniel Dillon on their newest published paper in the Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk: Vol. 5: Iss. 2: “Dads on the Dotted Line: A Look at the In-Hospital Paternity Establishment Process.”

ABSTRACT

CaptureIn the U.S., two out of five children are born to unmarried parents. These children do not have a legal father until paternity is established, a process completed by most families in the hospital at the time of the birth. Over the last 30 years, the percentage of unmarried parents voluntarily establishing paternity in the hospital has climbed considerably, driven in large part by a series of policy changes aimed at easing and incentivizing the process. Despite the apparent success of these policies, few have examined the mechanics of the paternity establishment process itself to understand whether it is functioning optimally for parents and hospitals. Further, few have sought an understanding of why parents do or do not establish paternity. Drawing on original data collected through two separate studies, this paper presents a descriptive portrait of the paternity establishment process from two perspectives—that of unmarried parents and that of birth registrars, the certified hospital staff who administer the process. Data come from the Paternity Establishment Study (PES), a longitudinal birth cohort study of approximately 800 Texas mothers who gave birth outside of marriage in 2013, and the Nonmarital Birth and Registration (NBAR) study, an online survey of 555 hospital staff members certified to register births in Texas conducted in January of 2014. In addition, we incorporate data from a roundtable discussion with staff from the Child Support Division who oversee the in-hospital paternity establishment program. We find that despite heavy workloads, high turnover, relatively low wages, and varying levels of support from hospital management, birth registrars are largely effective in their execution of the in-hospital paternity establishment process, guiding a remarkable 90 percent of parents who are both at the hospital to establish paternity. Despite these successes, birth registrars continue to confront issues that lie outside of their training, experience, and legal knowledge; third-party AOPs, disputed paternity, and family violence cases deserve special consideration, and underscore the need to recognize circumstances in which it may be preferable for a father to establish paternity through alternate means. Our findings call for a more nuanced perspective on the objectives of paternity establishment, and highlight the need for clear and consistent protocols to address the more complex circumstances that birth registrars face.

 
 

New CFRP Working Papers

January 16, 2015cfrp, demographics, paternity

Understanding Today’s Changing Families - When their children are born, most unmarried parents have high expectations for the future, but they are particularly vulnerable to financial and relationship instability. Their children are disproportionately likely to experience negative health and wellbeing outcomes, in part because of low father involvement. We provide an overview of the findings in this area and conclude that father involvement is largely a function of parental relationship quality. READ MORE

Showing Up is Half The Battle: Predicting Mothers’ Pregnancy Complications Among Unmarried Parents - Prior research has documented an association between prenatal father involvement and positive outcomes for maternal and child health, including increased prenatal care usage, decreased smoking and alcohol consumption, and a reduction in low birth weight, preterm birth, and infant mortality. CFRP investigated a broad set of prenatal indicators intended to help isolate the factors most related to maternal health complications during pregnancy and at the time of birth. READ MORE

Dads on the Dotted Line: A Look at the In-Hospital Paternity Establishment Process - Few have examined the mechanics of the paternity establishment process itself to understand whether it is functioning optimally for parents and hospitals. Drawing on original data collected through two separate studies, this paper presents a descriptive portrait of the paternity establishment process from two perspectives—that of unmarried parents and that of birth registrars, the certified hospital staff who administer the process.READ MORE

 

New Brief about Those On the Front Lines of Paternity Establishment, Birth Registrars

December 3, 2014fathers, paternity

179244189_modBecause children of unmarried parents do not have a legal father until paternity is established, federal and state laws mandate provision of readily accessible means of establishing paternity. In Texas, each hospital provides an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form for parents to sign as part of the birth registration process.

Although most parents choose to establish paternity this way, few studies have examined the AOP process to determine whether it is working optimally for parents, children, and hospitals. To investigate this issue, the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) collected data from Texas mothers who had given birth outside of marriage, birth registrars who admister the AOP process, and Paternity Outreach Coordinators (POCs) who oversee paternity establishment operations across the state.

Results suggest that birth registrars are largely successful in guiding parents through the AOP process, but they are often unprepared for addressing challenges related to sensitive or complex issues such as family violence, genetic testing, and third-party AOPs. Clearer policies and training to address these issues may help hospitals manage the process more effectively, improve its accuracy, and provide birth registrars with the tools they need to enhance parents’ experiences and ensure the best outcomes for children.

Click here to download the full brief, On the Front Lines of Paternity Establishment: Perspectives of Parents and Birth Registrars.

—–

For related briefs:

  1. Who Establishes Paternity? 
  2. Why Parents Establish Paternity
  3. Fathers in the First Few Months: A Study of Unmarried Fathers and Their Children
  4. How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children

Click for more on CFRP’s Paternity Establishment research.

 

Dr. Osborne and CFRP at 2014 APPAM Fall Conference

November 4, 2014cfrp, fathers, osborne, paternity

Button.2014

The 2014 APPAM Fall Research Conference starts this Thursday, November 6th and runs through Saturday, November 8th. APPAM is THE conference to learn about new and innovative research in a multitude of public policy areas from leaders in their fields.

Dr. Cynthia Osborne and the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP) crew will be heading to Albuquerque, New Mexico for this year’s conference to wonk-out in the world of research, policy, data, and academia.

If you are there, be sure to check-out CFRP Director, Dr. Cynthia Osborne, presenting two of her recent papers, Prenatal Father Involvement and Maternal Perinatal Health Outcomes: Looking Beyond the Birth Certificate and Why Fathers Fail to Establish Paternity: Conditioning the in-Hospital Paternity Establishment Decision on Fathers’ Presence at the Birth. Details are below.

Session: Father Involvement and Coparenting from Pregnancy to Childhood: Effects on Maternal and Child Outcomes (#4738)
Paper: Prenatal Father Involvement and Maternal Perinatal Health Outcomes: Looking Beyond the Birth Certificate (ID#10192), Cynthia Osborne, and Daniel Dillon, University of Texas, Austin
Date: Thursday, November 6, 2014
Time: 10:15 AM – 11:45 AM
Location: ABQ, Nambe

Session: New Approaches to the Challenges of Paternity Establishment and Child Support Collection and Their Impacts
Paper: Why Fathers Fail to Establish Paternity: Conditioning the in-Hospital Paternity Establishment Decision on Fathers’ Presence at the Birth (ID#9327), Cynthia Osborne, and Daniel Dillon, University of Texas, Austin
Date: Saturday, November 8, 2014
Time: 01:45 PM – 03:15 PM,
Location: ABQ, Nambe

Dr. Osborne also serves on the Association for Public Policy Analysis and Management (APPAM) 2014 Policy Council, the leadership team responsible for setting policy and strategy for the association. Click here for more about APPAM.  Follow the tag  in Twitter to keep up with the conference.

 

Dad’s Absence at Birth Linked to Adverse Health Outcomes for Mom and Baby

September 12, 2014family instability, fathers, paternity

Dad’s Who Don’t Deliver: An Unmarried Father’s Absence at His Baby’s Birth Reveals Clues About Health of Mother and Child

176651918_smThere was a time when dads didn’t belong in the delivery room. Conventional wisdom of the 1950s held that a father’s presence was not just a distraction, but a potential source of infection in an otherwise sterile environment. Today, of course, these attitudes have shifted and dads are considered a welcome source of support and comfort at a child’s birth. Recent findings from CFRP, however, suggest that for unmarried parents there may be a connection between child health and fathers’ birth attendance after all—albeit a very different connection from the one feared in the past. Newly collected data show that a father’s absence at this key event, though not directly harmful, may nonetheless be a harbinger of early health complications for the newborn. These findings indicate that dad’s attendance is more than a mere gesture of support and commitment—it’s a window into the health and wellbeing of mother and child, and an opportunity for health policies that might anticipate and counteract adverse health outcomes for newborns.

Dad’s attendance is more than a mere gesture of support and commitment—it’s a window into the health and wellbeing of mother and child.

CFRP’s study is based on survey data drawn from a large sample of Texas mothers who had recently given birth outside of marriage. The data reveal that, compared to fathers who attend the births of their children, absent fathers are three times more likely to have children with health complications as early as 3 months after the birth [Figure 1.] They are also more likely to have children born underweight. Perhaps not surprisingly, these health problems affect more than just newborns of birth-absent fathers—they affect mothers too. Moms who are unaccompanied by the father at birth are more likely to have experienced complications during pregnancy or at the time of birth, suggesting that the poor health their children experience as newborns may reflect poor prenatal conditions earlier on.

091114-1b

 

A closer look at these families during the prenatal period shows that fathers who are absent from the birth are largely absent during pregnancy as well [Figure 2.] They are less likely to have helped the mother with transportation or everyday chores, to have accompanied mom to the ultrasound, or to have attended prenatal appointments in general. They are also less likely to have provided financial support.

091114-2c

It’s possible that stress imposed on the mother by a lack of father involvement during pregnancy contributes to prenatal health complications that in turn compromise newborn health. This connection could explain why fathers who are absent at birth, having already largely withdrawn from the child’s life beforehand, are more likely to have children with health problems at 3 months old.

Other research has confirmed the link between maternal stress and child health. In a recent study of fetal scans, researchers found that when mothers are stressed out, their fetuses also show signs of distress. And in a separate study of nearly 8,000 pregnant women, researchers noted that moms with high anxiety and depression are at greater risk of adverse birth outcomes, such as low birth weight. These studies highlight the importance of identifying and alleviating prenatal maternal stress, a conclusion supported by CFRP data.

Research has long shown a connection between father involvement and child wellbeing in the domains of academic achievement, emotional health, and employment stability. However, CFRP’s findings suggest the impact of a father’s absence may begin much earlier, with roughly 1 in 10 children born to unaccompanied mothers exhibiting health complications just three months after birth.

Fathers’ absence at the 20-week ultrasound, in particular, strongly predicts fathers’ absence at the child’s birth.

In light of these findings, health officials should consider developing early interventions for mothers whose partners are not present at prenatal appointments. Fathers’ absence at the 20-week ultrasound, in particular, strongly predicts fathers’ absence at the child’s birth and should be considered a signal that a mother is at elevated risk for prenatal stress and adverse child health outcomes. These mothers may benefit from access to emotional and financial support services aimed at stress reduction. Prenatal classes targeted at emotional self-management, coparenting, and communication have also shown some success. In the long-term, these mothers may need other forms of support. Early outreach on the topic of paternity establishment, as well as information regarding child support and visitation arrangements, may help these mothers better navigate the legal landscape ahead. These actions may also alleviate some of the burdens imposed by a father’s absence, and ensure that children have the emotional and financial support they need to succeed and be healthy.

Click for more about CFRP’s work in the areas of father involvement and paternity establishment.

Download PDF Version of this post.

 

Interactive Visualization – Are Income Inequality and Nonmarital Childbearing Related?

August 14, 2014paternity, visualization

Income inequality and nonmarital childbearing have both doubled in the last 30 years. Could the two be related?

A spate of recent books and articles argue that the 30-year surge in nonmarital childbearing and income inequality may actually be two sides of the same coin. Each trend helps reinforce the other: as deepening economic hardship strains relationship stability, low-income parents become increasingly apt to go it alone, thereby hobbling their prospects for upward mobility. At the same time, high-income earners are increasingly likely to marry each other, leading these families to further peel away from the rest.

“The decline in marriage rates among poorer men and women robs parents of supplemental income, of work-life balance, and of time to prepare a child for school. Single-parenthood and intergenerational poverty feed each other. The marriage gap and the income gap amplify one another.” - Derek Thompson, The Atlantic “Scholars have said that changes in marriage patterns — as opposed to changes in individual earnings — may account for as much as 40 percent of the growth in certain measures of inequality.” - Jason DeParle, New York Times 

“Economic woes speed marital decline, as women see fewer ‘marriageable men.’ The opposite also holds true: marital decline compounds economic woes, since it leaves the needy to struggle alone.” - Jason DeParle, New York Times

“Forget the gender gap. The fundamental divide in the United States today runs along the lines of class and marriage. College-educated Americans and their children reap the benefits of comparatively stable, happy marriages, while less-educated Americans—especially the poor and the working-class—are more likely to struggle with family lives marked by discord and marital instability.” - W. Bradford Wilcox, The Wall Street Journal: Book Review of ‘Marriage Markets’ by June Carbone and Naomi Cahn

Click on the interactive visualization below to see the rate of nonmarital childbearing alongside the percentage of income held by the top 1% over the last 30 years.

CLICK FOR FULL SCREEN INTERACTIVE

– by Daniel Dillon, Staff Research Associate

 

Infographic – Dads on the Dotted Line: Why Unmarried Dads Don’t Establish Paternity

July 16, 2014infographic, paternity, visualization

The signing of a voluntary acknowledgement of paternity is an unwed father’s first legal act of fatherhood; without it, he has none of the legal rights or responsibilities of parenthood. It is also a milestone opportunity for an unmarried father to demonstrate his commitment to his child. Why do some unmarried dads not sign the acknowledgement of paternity form?

For more about paternity establishment, see our recent series of related briefs below or go to our Paternity Establishment research page:

  1. Who Establishes Paternity? 
  2. Why Parents Establish Paternity
  3. Fathers in the First Few Months: A Study of Unmarried Fathers and Their Children
  4. How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children

Infographic_DadsDottedLine

Click for PDF version of this infographic.

 

 

New Fatherhood Research and Practice Network Launches

June 11, 2014early childhood, family instability, fathers, home visiting, osborne, paternity

frpnJust in time for Father’s Day, the new national project, the Fatherhood Research and Practice Network (FRPN), is officially launched! CFRP Director, Dr. Cynthia Osborne, is an honored partner and collaborator on the project and will be chairing the Responsible Fatherhood Workgroup.

Dr. Osborne was asked to be an active partner because of her expertise in early childhood and father issues; she also brings her own team of experts at the Child and Family Research Partnership (CFRP).

Dr. Osborne and CFRP are currently conducting a long-term evaluation of the Texas Home Visiting Program that serves parents with children under the age of six, with a special focus on father participation. CFRP also has a large body of work in the areas of father involvementpaternity establishment, and family instability.

The FRPN is a five-year project funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Office of Planning, Research and Evaluation. The goals of the FRPN are to:

  1. Promote rigorous evaluation of fatherhood programs.
  2. Expand the number of practitioners and researchers collaborating to evaluate these programs.
  3. Disseminate information that leads to effective fatherhood practice and evaluation research.

The FRPN will focus on three main areas: responsible fatherhood, economic security and co-parenting/healthy relationships.

With the official launch, FRPN announced the first of three requests for proposals for grants supporting rigorous evaluation of fatherhood programs. For more about this grant opportunity, click here.

 

5 things you should know about Nonmarital Births and Paternity Establishment

June 2, 20145-things-list, fathers, paternity

In the United States, more than 1.5 million children are born to unmarried parents each year. Our list of “5 things you should know about nonmarital births and paternity establishment” provides a primer on nonmarital births, highlighting some of the essential trends and legal considerations relevant to births that occur outside of marriage. Click here for the 5 things you should know about Nonmarital Births and Paternity Establishment.

Click for all CFRP 5 Things To Know.

How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children

March 25, 2014child_support, economic security, fathers, paternity

[Related post: When Dads Commit, Kids Benefit]

In addition to providing emotional support to their children, fathers play a crucial role in their children’s development through the provision of financial support. Children with supportive fathers do better across a wide range of cognitive and behavioral domains—from greater academic achievement and improved health to lower rates of delinquency and depression. For some children, the financial support of their fathers can even mean the difference between living above or below the poverty line.

Though there is little doubt that children benefit from financially supportive fathers, more than 2 in 5 children in the U.S. are born to fathers who have no legal obligation to support them. Children born to unmarried parents do not have a legal father until paternity is established, a process completed by most families in the hospital at the time of birth. In Texas, 7 in 10 fathers establish paternity by signing an in-hospital Acknowledgement of Paternity (AOP) form. Over time, roughly one-quarter of these AOP-signing families will enter the formal child support system. Little is known, however, about the three-quarters of AOP-signing families who remain outside the formal child support system, and how fathers in these families support their children, if it all. A better understanding of how unmarried fathers support their children when no legal obligation is present can help shed light on whether the child support system is succeeding in its efforts to ensure children are supported, and may improve targeting for resources aimed at addressing lingering gaps in support.

Drawing on survey data collected from two statewide cohorts of Texas mothers who gave birth outside of marriage, CFRP provides an overview in the How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children brief of how AOP-signing fathers support their children financially in the years following a nonmarital birth. Not only have these fathers made the initial commitment to their children through establishing paternity, but their status as legal fathers means they have the ability to provide support through both formal and informal means.

Click here for the entire How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children brief.

—–

For the entire series of related briefs:

  1. Who Establishes Paternity? 
  2. Why Parents Establish Paternity
  3. Fathers in the First Few Months: A Study of Unmarried Fathers and Their Children
  4. How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children

When Dads Commit, Kids Benefit

February 27, 2014child_support, fathers, paternity

463398715_smFathers have a profound and far-reaching impact on their children, shaping everything from academic performance and impulse control to social development and the capacity for empathy. But while the research is clear on the importance of fathers, many children are in danger of growing up in father-absent families. In fact, a majority of births to women under 30 happen outside of marriage—and divorce rates for those who do marry have blown past 40 percent. Together, these trends have left 1 in 3 children without a biological father in the home—a significant disadvantage associated with higher rates of school dropout, behavioral problems, and teen pregnancy.

These are just some of the findings marshalled by Lois Collins and Marjorie Cortez on behalf of fathers and their historically undervalued role as co-parents in an article published this week in the Atlantic. As the authors make clear, though research has long noted the benefits of involved fatherhood, public policy has been slow to offer solutions geared toward troubled fathers themselves. “We have valued men as wallets more than as dads,” they write, quoting a recent commission report to the White House. As a result, fathers have found little to affirm their larger purpose as parents amidst the panoply of government programs historically stacked against them. But it’s not all bad news for today’s young dads. At the federal level, recent efforts have been made to create father-focused policies around paternal involvement, job training, and healthy-marriage initiatives. And organizations like STRIVE International, the Annie E Casey Foundation, and the W.K. Kellogg Foundation have stepped in with new male-focused initiatives of their own.

Discussions around the importance of involved fatherhood and how policy should respond to the challenges of today’s dynamic families intersect with the heart of CFRP’s research and policy agenda.  Drawing on survey data collected from two statewide cohorts of Texas mothers, CFRP developed a series of research briefs exploring the intersection of nonmarital childbirth, parental relationships, father involvement, and support. The latest brief in this series, Fathers in the First Few Months, takes stock of how fathers are involved with their children shortly after a nonmarital birth, and considers how policy might play a role in bettering the prospects of today’s most at-risk children.

– by Daniel Dillon, Staff Research Associate

—————

[Updated March 2014] For the entire series of related briefs:

  1. Who Establishes Paternity? 
  2. Why Parents Establish Paternity
  3. Fathers in the First Few Months: A Study of Unmarried Fathers and Their Children
  4. How Unmarried Fathers Support Their Children

About Parental Relationships from the Texas PES Study

February 14, 2014child_support, fathers, paternity

Did you know…

Relationship Duration of Unmarried Parents prior to Pregnancy

In Texas, almost half of parents giving birth outside of marriage were dating for more than 2 years before the mother became pregnant.

2014_0214_b_graphonly

 

Relationship Status of Unmarried Parents: 3 Months after Birth

In Texas, the vast majority of parents who give birth outside of marriage are dating or living together 3 months after the birth of their child.

2014_0214_a_graphonly

 

Source: CFRP Paternity Establishment Study, April-May 2013. http://childandfamilyresearch.org/research/paternity.

New CFRP Report about Father Involvement after a Nonmarital Birth

November 14, 2013child_support, economic security, fathers, paternity

cfrp_report_cover_thumbThe percentage of nonmarital births in the United States doubled between 1980 and 2011. Currently in Texas, 42 percent of recent births are to unmarried mothers. This dramatic rise in the number of nonmarital births is of growing concern because of the precarious economic status of single parents (most often mothers) and children. Moreover, there are a host of negative social, emotional, and behavioral outcomes associated with children who live in poor single-parent families, especially when those families lack involved and supportive fathers.

One strategy to promote a father’s financial and emotional investment in his child—while also formalizing the legal rights and responsibilities of fatherhood—is to encourage the establishment of paternity. Paternity establishment is the legal determination of fatherhood. It serves as a tool to promote responsibility, encourage father involvement, and provide legal access to a cadre of attendant benefits and rights. Furthermore, research shows that fathers who voluntarily sign an Acknowledgment of Paternity (AOP) form in the hospital are more likely to be involved and supportive, which can lead to improved child outcomes.

In CFRP’s newest report, A Portrait of Father Involvement and Support in the First Three Years after a Nonmarital Birth, we examine the intersection of in-hospital acknowledgment of paternity (AOP), formal child support, informal support, parental relationships, and father involvement. The report’s aim is to give a broad understanding of the characteristics associated with each topic. To address the research aims related to this report, CFRP conducted two separate studies: The Paternity Establishment Study (PES) and Checking in with AOP Signers (CAS) Study. Information from the PES and CAS studies are used extensively throughout the report.

Full report: A Portrait of Father Involvement and Support in the First Three Years after a Nonmarital Birth.

Click for CFRP policy briefs, posts, and more about Paternity Establishment and Father Involvement.