More Unwed Mothers Having Babies

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The government reports four out of 10 babies born in the U.S. in 2007 were born to unwed mothers.  The rate has  doubled since 1980

Tiere England, 21, loves her baby girl, and like many women her age she does not have a husband.

"If it happens it happens," she said.  "I'm not planning on it..or excited about it."

It is a trend among women in their early 20s -- having children without the benefit of marriage.

Since 2002 the number of unwed teen mothers has been steady or on the decline, while the number of single women over 20 having babies is up 13 percent, and the number of unwed mothers in their 30s is even higher, 34 percent.

"These aren't women  running to the sperm bank with an empty cup in their hand, these are woman who may be in relationships, for the majority of them they are unplanned pregnancies," said pediatrician Dr. Taisha Benjamin.  

Like England, many single moms are in no rush to tie the knot. 

National Christian leader Bishop T.D. Jakes says that's because marriage is no longer valued in today's culture.

"Marriage is going out of style in our country.  We're losing the number," he said.  "People are not getting married or they're getting out of marriage more quickly -- they're waiting later to get married and the whole idea of marriage is eroding."

Women who forego marriage don't necessarily raise their babies alone.  one study shows about half of unwed mothers live with their children's father. 

"So in many senses they look a lot like married parent families  two parents to share in the  child care, two parents to share in expenses, two parents to share in housework." 

England says she and baby are all the family she needs.

Jakes says its attitudes like that which threaten the institution of marriage.

"People believed in marriage -- today they're losing their idealogy around marriage altogether and I think that's going to be very detrimental in the long term," he said.

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Charlene  Aaron

Charlene Aaron

CBN News Reporter

Charlene Aaron serves as a general assignment reporter and helps anchor for the CBN News Channel.  Follow her on Twitter @CharNews and "like" her at Facebook.com/CharleneIsraelCBNNews.