Advantages of Delaying Parenthood

A couple, age 20-ish, getting married. Parents by their side.

An analysis of data from 1970 to 1996 by the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy shows that virtually all of the increase in child poverty over that period was related to the growth of single-parent families. In the 1970s, some of this increase was the result of rising divorce rates. However, since the early 1980s, virtually all of the increase in child poverty has been driven by the increased numbers of never-married mothers.

This does not mean that all children of never-married mothers suffer; however, over two decades of research indicates that children benefit when their parents are:

  • Older (beyond teen years).

  • Have completed at least high school.

  • Are in stable and committed relationships - marriage, in particular.

  • Are ready to take on the complex challenges of being parents.

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