The dramatic increase in nonmarital births in the United States cannot be written off as a simple “lifestyle choice” that has no implications for child well-being. Nor is it simply a result of a rise in casual sexual encounters. The vast majority of children born outside of marriage are born to parents in committed yet fragile relationships. Our challenge in this volume is to explore the ramifications of this new reality and to fashion policy recommendations that reduce the number of fragile families in the first place, and that ensure that children born into fragile families receive the support they need to grow into healthy, productive adults. (Author Abstract)
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