Getting more fathers involved

When a woman becomes pregnant, she has just three options: abortion, adoption or bearing and raising her child. Too often, those who decide, in effect, to have and hold on to their babies do so on their own. The children’s fathers want no part of fatherhood.

Some men – and boys – who leave the women – and girls – they have impregnated to deal alone with the consequences are simply scum who never had any thought of doing the right thing. But some others may skip out on their responsibilities because they are afraid. Fatherhood can be an intimidating experience, after all. That is especially true for low-income males.

A program in Ohio is aimed at helping teen and adult males, ages 16-24, make the transition into fatherhood. Using a $10 million federal grant, the “New Beginnings for New Fathers” program will provide education in parenting, healthy marriages and relationships. Open to both expectant and new fathers with low incomes, it also will provide job training.

About 35 percent of the households with children in Ohio are headed by single parents, according to the 2010 census. Twenty-seven percent have only mothers present, while 8 percent have only fathers.

Children are better off when raised by both a mother and a father. No amount of political correctness can change that. So anything that may convince some boys and men to stay with the mothers of their children, becoming responsible parents, is good.

State Commission on Fatherhood officials plan to offer the grant-funded program only in Clark, Cuyahoga, Franklin, Hamilton and Montgomery counties. But babies are abandoned by their fathers everywhere in Ohio. If “New Beginnings for New Fathers” helps in the five initial counties, Ohio officials should look at funding an expanded program to serve the entire state.