This section provides web links, PDFs and video of recent news stories about fatherhood from news outlets around the world.
The Bachelor Life Includes a Family
Daniel Gurr, a doctor in Miami, had always wanted a baby. The yearning lasted through his 30s and early 40s, through medical school and into his residency. That longing created tension; he and his longtime boyfriend, he said, fought each time the subject came up.
At 46, Dr. Gurr, who is settled in his job but now unattached, is finally fulfilling his wish. Next month, through a surrogate, he will become the single parent of a baby boy.
“I’ve always felt that I wanted fatherhood to be a part of my life,” he said. “It’s just a core part of who I’ve always been. I absolutely would want a partner, but I couldn’t let my life wait for that random event.”
Like the women two decades ago who decided to become mothers on their own — sparking a redefinition of family, not to mention a culture war — single men, gay and straight, hear the ticking biological clock. And they are moving beyond looking for Ms. or Mr. Right.
Baby Papas: Maturity on a fast track
The bulk of studies on teen pregnancy center on the mother, but very young fathers are presented with significant obstacles when it comes to their own education and ability to earn a livable income. Teen fathers have less education and are less likely to finish high school than their peers who have not yet become fathers, according to research from Indiana University Bloomington. Teen fathers enter the labor market earlier and by their mid-20s, earn less than their peers who were not adolescent parents.| Read story
Center helps men be better fathers, providers
The Arizona Center for Responsible Fatherhood has been trying to improve the relationships of Arizona fathers and their children for the past two years.
The program is part of Child and Family Resources and is funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Since opening its doors, the center has helped more than 650 men find jobs, improve their life skills and learn how to be better fathers.| Read story
First NYS Fatherhood Conference Planned
Responsible fatherhood will be the focus of the first New York State Fatherhood Conference, which is being hosted by the State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) along with the State Office of Children and Family Services (OCFS), on Oct. 6-9, at the Desmond Hotel in Albany.| Read story
Recycling felons into responsible fathers
The key turns twice.
This is the phrase I have used for some years when speaking to people about the population in our community's jails. The key that has locked up thousands of individuals has to turn again in the opposite direction to let them re-enter society.
This statement is supported by statistics that show that the average sentence for inmates in state and federal prisons is only about five years; the average sentence for inmates in county and municipal jails is less than half of that. With 650,000 individuals nationally re-entering the community from state and federal prisons every year, and a much larger number being released from local correctional facilities, jail can easily be considered transitional housing and not a permanent home.| Read story
Men at work in Washington
Legislators in Washington are working to implement the new thinking on male poverty.
Perhaps the most comprehensive is a bill coauthored by Senator Barack Obama and Indiana Senator Evan Bayh called the Responsible Fatherhood and Healthy Families Act. It would provide job training, remove marriage penalties from the tax code, and support domestic violence prevention efforts.
Some stepfathers seen as better dads
Stepfathers make slightly better parents than married biological fathers, researchers found in a study of at-risk urban families.
Mothers reported that stepfathers were more engaged, more cooperative and shared more responsibility than their biological counterparts did, according to the study, published in this month's issue of the Journal of Marriage and Family.
In keeping with the work ethic of their Puritan forebears, Americans have always preferred to direct their generosity to the "deserving" poor: the have-nots who, through no fault of their own, are unable to support themselves. Since the New Deal, the first large-scale federal initiative to aid the needy, the US government has focused its antipoverty efforts on the vulnerable, such as the disabled, the elderly, widows, and children. In the 1930s, President Roosevelt launched programs to support these groups and to assist the unemployed during economic downturns - all populations affected by circumstances beyond their control.| Read story
Coaches Learn from Ehrmann
When 60 Boulder Valley School District coaches and members of the Colorado football coaching staff filed out of nondescript third-floor conference room in an ordinary office building just off Highway 36 Friday afternoon, they left behind a special man who spent the previous six hours turning the tables on them.
Joe Ehrmann is a coach for coaches.
As Ehrmann collected his things and waited patiently for his ride after six hours of teaching and dialogue, he said he hoped the men and women with whom he had spent the day left his InsideOut Coaching Seminar with a renewed passion for what they do and new ideas for doing it better.
Obama's Rebuke of Absentee Black FathersOn father's day, when Barack Obama assailed absent fathers as a critical source of suffering for black communities, he sought two political advantages for the price of one. He embraced a thorny tradition of social thought that says black families are largely responsible for their own troubles. And he was seen in a black church not railing at racism but rebuking his own race. Obama's words may have been spoken to black folk, but they were also aimed at those whites still on the fence about whom to send to the White House.
The notion that black families are mired in self-imposed trauma stems from Daniel Patrick Moynihan's 1965 report, in which Moynihan argued that the black family was a "tangle of pathology" whose destruction by slavery had produced female-headed households, absent fathers and high illegitimacy. Interestingly, Martin Luther King Jr. was one of the few Negro leaders who refused to condemn the future New York Senator's report. "The shattering blows on the Negro family have made it fragile, deprived and often psychopathic," King said at the time. "Nothing is so much needed as a secure family life for a people to pull themselves out of poverty and backwardness." But King also insisted that Moynihan's report offered both "dangers and opportunities." The danger was that "problems will be attributed to innate Negro weaknesses and used to justify neglect and rationalize oppression." The opportunity was the chance that the report would galvanize support and resources for the black family. | Read story