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The Importance of Equal Rights and Custody of Children

Children Benefit from Two Fully and Actively Engaged Parents

The heart of Dads’ Resource Center is a children’s advocacy organization that aims to ensure that each child has the appropriate involvement and contributions from both of their parents. We have seen firsthand that disenfranchised fathers result in disadvantaged children.

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 24 million children in America live in homes that are absent of their biological father. That’s one out of every three. The effects of absent fathers on child development are staggering:

 Drug and alcohol abuse: Fatherless children are more prone to substance abuse.

The National Center for Fathering says that fatherless children are “10 times more likely to abuse chemical substances.” They also state that “71% of adolescent substance abusers come from a fatherless home.”

 Crime: Fatherless children are more likely to behave violently and more likely to be incarcerated.

In his book Fatherless America, David Blankenhorn writes, “[T]he weight of evidence increasingly supports the conclusion that fatherlessness is a primary generator of violence among young men.” He continues, “Put simply, we have too many boys with guns primarily because we have too few fathers.”

 Education: Fatherless children have lower academic achievement and are less likely to graduate from high school.


Researchers reviewed studies on father absence, and found that father absence does not necessarily affect children’s cognitive abilities, but still found “strong and consistent negative effects of father absence on high school graduation.” They write, “The latter finding suggests that the effects on educational attainment operate by increasing problem behaviors rather than by impairing cognitive ability.”

 Poverty: Fatherless children are more likely to live in poverty.

The Heritage Foundation reports: Child poverty is an ongoing national concern, but few are aware of its principal cause: the absence of fathers in the home. According to the U.S. Census, the poverty rate for single parents with children in the United States in 2009 was 37.1 percent. The rate for married couples with children was 6.8 percent.

These documented facts clearly demonstrate the need for our legal and court systems, human service organizations and communities to recognize and commit resources to ensure custodial equity. Both parents should be involved in the positive upbringing of their children, whether the parents are married, separated or divorced. Any standards of consideration regarding the rights and custody of children should be applied equally to both parents by the courts and all agencies.

All the research and news are not negative however. DRC is committed to promoting the well-being and healthy development of children and helping to support and encourage fathers to be fully and actively engaged in the lives of their sons and daughters. When fathers are assigned legal and equal rights to the custody of children it directly benefits children.

According to the website Fathers’ Rights Movement, children who have equal and meaningful contact with both of their parents who are committed to their welfare:

  • are less likely to drop out of school.
  • are less likely to run away from home.
  • are less likely to become pregnant or have an abortion.
  • are less likely to commit suicide.
  • are less likely to seek, or create an abusive relationship.
  • are less likely to commit crimes.
  • are less likely to turn to drugs or alcohol.
  • adjust better to separation than children with one custodian.
  • are more likely to have successful relationships.
  • are more likely to have healthy sleep patterns and general health.

For more information about the Dads’ Resource Center visit our website, @dadsrc.org

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