We already know that raising a child costs about $300,000. We already know that a woman's career and finances can suffer dramatically as a result of having a baby and taking time out of the workforce to raise it. And now here comes a study from the University of Michigan Institute for Social Research saying that what it terms "multiple partner fertility"—a euphemism for having more than one baby daddy—is a "key component to the net of disadvantage that many poor and uneducated women have every day."
Duh. This seems like a bit of a no-brainer. Unless you have a lot of help, having multiple children, let alone multiple children by different men, probably doesn't make it easier to get an education, hold down a busy job or save money.
What's interesting about the study is that it found that having children by different fathers was by no means unique to minority and disadvantaged women. "It is surprisingly common at all levels of income and education," concludes the study, headed up by demographer Cassandra Dorius.
White women made up 22% of mothers whose children had different fathers; Hispanic women 35%; and African American women 59%.
The study also points out the male role in multiple fertility families. For one, men will "swap families," leaving behind a mother and biological children, only to go on and create a second, or even third or fourth, family. Hello, Kevin Federline!
When this happens, men have a tendency to reduce their physical and financial support to the earlier families, leaving the mother(s) susceptible to economic disaster.
At least the study acknowledges that it takes both women and men to make babies.
Kiri Blakeley writes about pop culture, media, and women. Visit her at kiriblakeley.com. Follow her on Twitter.
Kiri BlakeleyKiri BlakeleyI'm a long-time Forbes and ForbesWoman writer. I cover entertainment, celebrities, trends, models, and female-oriented stories. My first book, "Can't Think Straight: A… Read More https://www.forbes.com/sites/kiriblakeley/2011/04/01/multiple-baby-daddies-can-make-you-poor/?sh=162656a271b3