Baby makes 3: More unmarried new moms cohabiting

Print More
A mother and father holding their baby's feet.

Photo courtesy of Hannamariah via Shuttestock

A mother and father holding their baby's feet.

Active RNS subscribers and members can view this content by logging-in here.

(RNS) Nearly three in five births to unmarried women across the United States were to women living with their partner -- marking the first time a majority of these births were to women in cohabiting relationships, according to a new analysis of federal data released Wednesday (Aug. 13).

  • Larry

    But procreation can only happen in marriage!!!!!

    [Sorry, I am channeling my inner Christian Fundamentalist]

  • Lles Nats

    I interprete this as a victory for liberals.

    All those pre-teen jr. High girls we taught to put condoms on bananas in school is resulting in less teenage mothers. They remember their “find the zipper game” lessons from public education. Meanwhile the older groups have abandoned men altogether, and vice versa, and now births are increasing among the “unions” via sperm banks and surrogates for profit.

    All evidence traditional families are dinosaurs, and propagation of our species can be clinical, unemotional, scientific.

    But now the judgement part…is this all good or bad?

  • Frank

    So sad. These kids deserve a stable, mother- father in a lifelong commitment called marriage, environment.

  • Larry

    You would…if you were illiterate or didn’t bother to read the article.

    The article states that teen pregnancy births are on a decline. Its appears that couples are just not getting married as much as they used to. Blame goes to declining religiosity and the overall decline in discrimination against non-marital children when it comes to parental benefits. Its also becoming harder to be a “deadbeat dad”.

    “While the births in cohabiting relationships increased, the number, rate and percentage of births to unmarried women overall declined during the same period.”

    “His latest projections…suggest that the year-over-year increases in the percentage of children born to unmarried parents has slowed”

  • gilhcan

    What needs to be faced historically, religiously, and legally is the fact that marriage evolved in different forms for various reasons, none of them divine or eternal.

    Cohabitation evolved out of the ability of people to better live in groups than alone to satisfy sexual needs, shelter, and food. Out of that complex, along with the children that came from such cohabiting relationships, evolved the desire for legal protections for the individuals involved in the complexities of cohabitation.

    Along the way, as people developed religious ideas, “families” that came from that cohabiting determined that the relationships were sacred entities and deserved the approving blessing of their larger religious group. Hence, we have religious or church “marriages,” sometimes called a sacrament.

    The evolution of cultural customs is non-stop. It should be no surprise that as more people cease to believe or participate in religious observances, religious customs relating to cohabitation should also reduce.

    It should be noted that legal obligations continue until they are formally changed. Religion in our civil lives does not have the standing of our legal system though ministers of religion are permitted, as a convenience to avoid double ceremonies, to represent civil authority in presiding over marriage.

    The legal responsibilities of cohabiting partners toward each other and toward any children that come from their union exist even if the cohabiting is informal.

  • Lles Nats

    What da hell?

    Is RNS adding spin to this article?

    The same piece can be found on Reuters as “more middle aged us women having babies outside marriage:cdc” as reported by David Beasley.

    No mention on “unions” in that piece. Only cohabitation…which does not necessarily imply a lesbian couple…as RNS does.

    I tell you I would be shocked, SHOCKED if RNS was lying to us to press an agenda.

  • Shawnie5

    “The legal responsibilities of cohabiting partners toward each other and toward any children that come from their union exist even if the cohabiting is informal.”

    Are you saying you think the obligations of marriage should be imposed upon cohabiting partners whether they want them or not?

    I ask because couple often cohabit because they specifically do not want the obligations that accompany legal marriage. To impose them anyway would appear to be a substantial limitation on personal freedom.

  • Larry

    It looks like you read far too much into the statement than intended.
    Gilhcan was saying legal obligations exist among cohabiting couples, even in the absence of marriage.

    For example:
    A duty for parents to support their children. Marital or otherwise.
    A duty to pay debts and obligations associated with living at a given premises together
    The right to act as legal guardian for a child.

    Marriage changes the nature of these obligations and creates legal defaults which otherwise are absent in cohabitation.

  • Shawnie5

    Duties of parents toward children have absolutely nothing to do with cohabitation. I wanted to know specifically what duties “toward each other” Gihcan is talking about wrt cohabiters. I think he/she is quite capable of answering that, thanks just the same.

  • Larry

    Now you are being difficult for its own sake and splitting hairs to create an argument which does not exist.

    I get the feeling Gilhcan is just not bothering because you clearly misconstrued the statement.

  • Shawnie5

    Nothing to do with you, and nobody needs you to speak for them. With all due respect, buzz off.

  • Jesus had an invisible, untouchable, silent father.
    What’s the problem?