"If we, in the 21st Century, have fostered a culture where 'baby mama' is an acceptable term, we have little to be proud of."
Mitch Albom uses sports figures as a starting example in his column entitled, 8 kids with 6 moms? NFL star is shameful. The article's title focuses on New York Jets defensive back Antonio Cromartie, 26. And yet, he is not the worst offender. Travis Henry, the former NFL running back, reportedly has fathered at least 11 children with 10 different women.
Albom goes on to see the problem as a cultural issue that affects Black Americans far more than Whites. In recent data from the National Center for Health Statistics, 72% of new babies were born out of wedlock, versus 28% among whites and 17% among Asians.
WE know, thanks to the research of Rickie Solinger, that the racial gap effects adoption mores and practices as well which in turn effects the racial disparity of children being raised by single mothers. White babies are a far more sought after commodity for the adoption market and thus White women are far more pressured to relinquish than are Black women. The social pressures are greatly different as well. By and large, White women are more "expected" to complete higher education before considering motherhood than are Black women.
One also has to wonder if these "out-of-wedlock" figures count the (White) women who chose to go ahead and become single mothers because their biological clock is running way ahead of their ability to meet Mr. Perfect who meets up to their standards. This phenom is in fact also effecting Black women who are bettering themselves with higher education and professional careers. The pool of men for them to choose from is pitifully small as more of their male peers are in jail than White men of the same age category.
So, is the acceptability of the term "baby mama" - the acceptability of women allowing themselves to get "knocked up" in transient relationships and hook ups an indication of a society in great danger? Or are these simply women who need our support? Is making men pay child support enough, or for children, as Albom and other suggest, being raised without a father the underlying cause of much delinquency and crime? Does the same apply for the affluent women who become single moms by choice - and if so, why is no one raising that issue as a concern? Answer: Because they can AFFORD to financially support their children without a man, and that makes it acceptable, because after all the whole purpose of marriage is to provide financial support for children so as not to burden the state.
And where are those so concerned about the "fatherlessness of America" when father's constitutional right to parent are stomped on? Where is David Blanehorn who literally wrote the book on fatherlessness and his Center for Families and Marriage (straight, heterosexual marriage) and others concerned about this issue when fathers who are begging to stand up and care for their children are told they did not dot their i's and cross their t's in a timely enough manner to exercise their right?
Where were these concerns as states approved legalized abandonment of babies in so-called Safe Havens? And initiated Putative Father Registries...all in an effort to expedite adoption of children before a father had an instant to claim his intentions?
Let us also not forget that many of same self-righteous "Family Values" proponents also themselves have fathered "out-of-wedlock" children often while married to another...and let us also forget that many of these same self-righteous "Family Values" types are solidly opposed to women's right to chose whether to carry an unintended pregnancy full term. And are first in line to block same-sex marriage while being promoting marriage!
Family Values needs to value all families and respect the rights of all fathers and all mothers.